San Antonio, TX

Fiesta San Antonio Is Back for 2021!

Rick Martinez

Here's what to expect, and the full schedule of events

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Fiesta Fiesta in 2019

San Antonio is gearing up to celebrate Fiesta! The festival begins on June 17 with the opening gala at Hemisfair, followed by 10 more days of events.

With live music, bartering for Fiesta® medals, a relaxing atmosphere, and lots of shopping and dining options, the Fiesta® Festival will make you feel like a kid again.

For the grand opener, enjoy live music, lounge with your family in a kid-friendly atmosphere, shop locally made arts and crafts, and taste creations from San Antonio's culinary talents, all under the shade of San Antonio's skyline.

Fiesta officially kicks off 11-days of food, fashion, music, entertainment, and family-friendly fun, benefiting local, nonprofit causes.

For the kick-off, San Antonio gathers for an evening of revelry and the culture that Fiesta embodies. Whoever you are, there's something for everyone, and it's a must-see at least once.

"We are so excited to have Fiesta 2021. The Fiesta Commission's priority has always been the health and safety of all Fiesta guests. Working with health expert Dr. Marty Makary, and based on the current and projected scientific data, the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, the City of San Antonio, and Metro Health have determined that Fiesta 2021 can occur safely," said President of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, Baltazar Serna.

In 2021, Chef Brian West returns with Taste of the Republic, the VIP culinary party of Fiesta Fiesta. Distilled spirit tastings rooms representing the culinary regions of Texas will flank the courtyard of flavor and pairings you've grown to love.

The citywide celebration and major fundraiser was called off in March 2020, was then rescheduled to November of that year. With the H1N1 pandemic approaching, Fiesta was postponed from its usual mid-April dates to June so that authorities might act sooner when necessary safety protocols are needed.

Acknowledging the gradual return of tourism to the city, Steve Rosenauer, executive director of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, welcomed "San Antonians and our national and international guests" in a news release.

The Fiesta schedule was announced this past week, with 50 sanctioned events - a notably reduced number compared to the more than 100 events of previous years. Some traditional favorites are included, with notable exceptions. (Please see the schedule below).

Off the regular schedule are most of the festive and well-attended parades that have drawn thousands to crowd downtown streets in years past. Of note is the annual Oyster Bake would have counted its canceled 2020 event as its 104th year, which will wait until 2022 for its return.

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Photo via FiestaSA Instagram

The pandemic is cheerfully acknowledged with a special Fiesta "Show Me Your Mask" event on June 18 at Palo Alto College, replacing the "Show Me Your Shoes" tradition.

Fiesta de Los Reyes takes its place at Market Square beginning June 18, with the traditional crowning of El Rey Feo nearby in Main Plaza at 5:30 p.m. and a reception to follow at the Henry B. González Convention Center.

King Antonio will be crowned in Alamo Plaza at 6 p.m. on June 19, followed by the Texas Cavaliers River Parade launching June 21 at 7 p.m. on the River Walk.

The four-day perennial favorite of all San Antonian's, A Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA) party begins June 22 in La Villita. Other favorites such as the Mission Reach Flotilla Fiesta, Fiesta de Los Ninos, Fiesta Gartenfest, at the Beethoven Halle, and Garden, the Ford Mariachi Festival, A Day in Old Mexico and Charreada at the Rancho del Charro, and the 10th Street River Festival will all return this year.

We can't forget the health-conscious folks and runners, walkers, rollers, strollers, and bicyclists. These folks will take to the streets for the Fiesta Run to Remember and the Fiesta Especial Inclusion 5K and Parade on June 19, the Fiesta Wildflower Ride on June 20, the Fiesta Tech Trek on June 22, and the Fiesta de Los Spurs Run on June 26.

We have to work off some margaritas after all!

The 2021 Praise Dance celebration on June 27 will be held as a virtual event, free with a link provided online.

The festival will wrap up on June 27 with the traditional La Reina de la Feria de las Flores reception, 5 p.m. at Paesano's on the River Walk.

Regarding pandemic safety protocols, the news release states that "each Fiesta event will have its own COVID-19 safety protocols, but the Fiesta Commission has encouraged all of its Participating Member Organizations (PMOs) to follow CDC, Metro Health, City of San Antonio, and Bexar County guidelines. Many Fiesta events will require face mask-wearing and social distancing."

For the full schedule of events, visit the official Fiesta San Antonio website here.

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I'm a freelance writer and a nurse, exploring the world one beer, donut, and experience at a time. Writing about the travel nurse industry and healthcare, with the occasional emphasis on donuts. #NomNom

San Antonio, TX
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