As San Antonio and Fiesta have grown, some of the events continue to keep it real. In the case of King William Fair, it has managed to keep its small-town groove despite having become a major event.
One of the key elements is the parade, which maintains all the flavor of a small-town event. “Main Street USA,” if you will. While most of the major parades use commercially made floats and rental blimps, the King William Fair parade gears toward home-made floats and improvisation. School kids banged on percussion instruments and a group of men pranced about in yellow spandex. It’s all good.
Adding to the flavor are the relatively small crowds at the parade. No need to occupy a space three days in advance; just show up and find a shady spot to hang out. Bring the kids, they’re guaranteed to have a good time. Parade participants handed out candy, pilónes, and even a few medals to lucky receivers.
The fair itself is several blocks of fun and discovery. There are food trucks, artists’ booths, and several music stages throughout the event. People watching is probably the most entertaining attraction. People tend to leave their inhibitions at the front gate. It is Spring, after all.
Many neighborhood residents hosted parties, serving Bloody Marys, margaritas, and in some cases, live music, as guests as they cooled off next to a pool or in the shade of a mature oak or pecan .
All for a good cause. Proceeds from the event go to scholarships, historic preservation, art programs, libraries, tree plantings, and other community improvements.
King William Fair offers something for everyone. Food, drink, music, friends, art, a small-town parade – it doesn’t get much better than this. ¡Viva Fiesta!
*Featured/top image: The lowrider bicycle bunch ride their bikes during the King William Fair parade. Photo by Page Graham.
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