The Fiesta Oyster Bake, an enduring staple of Fiesta San Antonio, is celebrating its 100th year as an event that highlights the city’s unique culture and holds a special place in San Antonio history

This year’s Oyster Bake, held April 15-16 on the St. Mary’s University campus, is expected to draw more than 70,000 attendees and volunteers throughout Fiesta. Since 1916, the event has raised about $10 million in funds for St. Mary’s University and the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association.

Crowds arrived late Friday afternoon to celebrate the occasion with music, dancing, fireworks, and, of course, oysters. Attendees threw back thousands of Gulf oysters – served raw, baked, and fried – and enjoyed other Fiesta food favorites including chicken-on-a-stick, turkey legs, hamburgers, fried cheesecakes and corn.

“You have food, you have family, you have atmosphere, but also the great thing of course is the oysters. And of course the entertainment – it’s live, it’s fresh, and it’s local,” said Oyster Bake attendee David Zamarripa.

The event also featured a diverse lineup of musicians and bands including Kevin Fowler, Chevelle, Chamillionaire, and Isabel Marie. Attendees danced and swayed to the live Tejano, hip-hop and classic rock performances, while families ventured off to enjoy the games and rides at the carnival on-site.

After 100 years, the Oyster Bake, which resumes again on Saturday morning, proves that Fiesta spirits are alive and well in San Antonio.

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Lea Thompson, a former reporter at the Rivard Report, is a Texas native who has lived in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. She enjoys exploring new food and culture events.