For at least one hour in Market Square Tuesday morning, it sounded and looked like Fiesta had already begun.
Fiesta dignitaries gathered under the colorful papel picados hanging outside of La Margarita for a “pre-Fiesta pachanga,” hosted by the Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation that featured lively Latin music, refreshments, and even an appearance by the San Antonio Spurs Coyote.
Rey Feo LXVIII Darren Casey punctuated the occasion by honoring Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) with the “highest order” that can be conferred by the Rey Feo: the Royal Order of the Cabrito.
The award, similar to the Texas Cavaliers‘ Royal Order of the Red Plume, honors a local community member, business person, or City official for their “service above the call of duty, outstanding record of dedication to the community, distinguished service to the cause of excellence through education and outstanding record of service to charitable causes in the community.”
“Councilman Treviño represents all of these and it’s our honor to present him with the Cabrito,” Casey said. Rey Feo can only confer the honor on 100 people during his reign as the “peoples’ king,” Casey added, but may also choose to honor only one person.
Treviño is an alumus of Leadership San Antonio, served as an adjunct professor at UTSA, and took part in key construction and historic preservation projects around the city.
“(The award) is a really important distinction,” Treviño said. “The City of San Antonio is proud to partner with the Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation in an effort to continue upholding and supporting the traditions and fundraising goals of the LULAC and Rey Feo program.”
The Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation sponsors various fundraising events throughout the city for the LULAC Council #2 and the Rey Feo Scholarship Foundation that give college scholarships to San Antonio high school students. In just 10 years, the Educational Foundation has raised more than $5 million in scholarships for San Antonio students, said Frank Garza, Educational Foundation member.
Casey, too, was recognized at Tuesday’s celebration as a “record-breaking Rey Feo” who has raised $501,555 for scholarships.
The pre-Fiesta celebration also highlighted the coming 6th Annual Fiesta de los Reyes, hosted by the Educational Foundation, which will take place from April 15-26 in Market Square. As one of the largest free Fiesta events, Fiesta de los Reyes features a variety of food offerings and live music including conjunto, Latin jazz, and country music bands.
For the Fiesta de los Reyes daily music lineup, click here.
“(Fiesta de los Reyes) is an important event, and it’s a great opportunity to highlight the most important thing which are these scholarships that offer life changing opportunities for many of our local students,” Treviño said. “By partnering with the City, the Rey Feo Consejo is also ensuring that thousands of people in our community will have a free event to enjoy with high quality entertainment.”
Before the morning’s “pachanga” ended, Casey recognized the Fiesta San Antonio Commission by presenting Vonzetta Hickman, Fiesta executive committee president, and Amy Shaw, Fiesta executive committee executive director, with a celebratory 125th anniversary cake, prompting everyone in attendance to shout “Viva!”
For the full list of Fiesta 2016 events, click here.
Top image: Rey Feo LXVIII Darren Casey enters the “pre-Fiesta pachanga” to a cheering audience. Photo by Camille Garcia.