The King William Fair will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, and provide entertainment until 6 p.m. Credit: Courtesy / King William Association

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Each year on the final Saturday of Fiesta, the King William Association hosts its own fair. The King William Fair will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, with a delightfully funky parade and will offer a variety of arts and craft vendors, lively music, dance, Kids Kingdom play area, and delicious food and beverages all day long until 6 p.m.

But what really sets this event apart is the sparkling beauty of its historic setting near the heart of downtown San Antonio, where the King William neighborhood entices fairgoers to relax and unwind along shady, tree-lined streets adorned with stately Victorian homes, cozy cottages, and gracious gardens.

Through the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of fairgoers, all proceeds from the King William Fair are reinvested in our community by financially supporting libraries and art instructional programs in neighborhood schools, offering scholarships for inner city students, and creating revitalization and preservation efforts in the King William Historic District and Southtown environs.

While expenses have steadily increased over the past years, the fair remains committed to providing free admission for children 12 and under. The fair continues to be among the Fiesta events with the lowest admission fees for its size and the experience it offers the public in terms of parade, stages, food, beverages, and art vendors. But due to the steady increase of expenses over the past several years, the fair has raised its general admission price to $15 for ages 13 and up. The last price increase was back in 2010.

One of the many experiences that make the King William Fair unique compared to other Fiesta events is its dedication to the arts. The art and craft vendors are only allowed to sell their own handcrafted pieces.

In addition to browsing purchasable art, the fair offers beauty you can hear. For the first time, the King William Fair will host a poetry stage on Guenther Street, between Madison Street and King William streets. The Poetry Stage will feature local poets, the San Antonio Jazz Poets, PuroSlam Poets, a sneak peak of Southern Fried Poetry Slam, and an open mic.

The King William Fair features the best San Antonio area entertainers: musicians, poets, dancers, historical re-enactors, magicians, and performance and interactive artists. Making their debuts this year in Artists Alley, located on the 500 block of Madison Street, are Johnny Carrera, vocalist for West Kings Highway, and Roy Knowles with Gonzalo Gonzales from The Ghost Tracks. Another highlight in this year’s fair is Hulu’s Monster Mural, which will allow children to color on a scale they’ve never seen before – on a giant coloring book page!

Texas Camel Corps will showcase two camels on Guenther Street, between Madison and King William streets, to educate fairgoers on the history of these animals in Texas during the U.S. Army Camel Experiment of the 1850s. At the Wulff House, 107 King William St., Battle for Texas will join the Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez for educational historic reenactments.

Kids Kingdom is a mix of games, rides, and activities in a historical park setting. Once the site of a grist mill on the San Antonio River, Kids Kingdom is located next to the Kids Kingdom Stage, which offers entertainment for children of all ages. New this year to the entertainment lineup is Mama Lou, American Strong Woman, whose show features amazing feats of strength, comedy, and a strong feel-good message.

While you’re at the fair, feast on your favorite foods or try new ones. With more than 50 food and beverages booths, you’ll want to make sure you wear loose and comfortable attire. Adiba Grocery & Restaurant will feature satay, a Southeast Asian dish consisting of small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer and served with a spiced sauce that typically contains peanuts. The Pigster will feature cochinita pibil, a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Peninsula. Steel City Pops, a neighborhood favorite on South Alamo Street will have three popsicle carts in the Fair Zone. Steel City Pops is known for its creative, customizable frozen treats inspired by Mexican paletas.

From entertainment to making sure the wheels turn smoothly, the neighborhood’s high school, Brackenridge, will feature its most creative students. Brackenridge fashion students will showcase their talents by dressing adoptable dogs in the latest of today’s Fiesta attire. The Fashion Doggie show will take place in Artists Alley, which will also host Brackenridge’s Print Shop students who will be doing live demos with the heat press using student designs for T-shirts and other promotional materials that will be available for purchase. Their theme will focus on the Tricentennial and Brackenridge’s 100 years. The art students, led by Terry Ybanez, will create mural banners that assist in telling a story about San Antonio during the kick-off parade at 9 a.m.

In addition to offering their creative talents, Brackenridge students will also support the fair by scooping up poop along the parade route, keeping the Fair Zone clean all day and managing recycling stations, which helps the fair achieve the City’s highest green-event certification level year after year.

The King William Association looks forward to hosting its 51st fair by inviting visitors to celebrate Fiesta in the neighborhood it has worked so hard to restore. Visit the King William Fair’s website by April 18 to purchase discounted food, beer, and activity tickets. General admission tickets are also available at a discounted price on the website until April 27. Click here to plan your day at the fair.

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Alicia Spence-Schlesinger

Alicia Spence-Schlesinger is the King William Fair Parade's chief parade wrangler and marketing coordinator.