Fiesta 2016 Kickoff: 5 Official Events to Get You in the Fiesta Spirit!

As they say, April showers [and chingón-sized hail, apparently] brings May flowers. And you know what else April brings? Fiesta San Antonio! Fun fact: Did you know that ― as part of a 30-year tradition started by a NIOSA volunteer ― a Rain Rock is hung on a tree in La Villita to ward off any inclement weather? It’s true. Rain or shine, however, our Fiesta spirits are in full effect this week as Fiesta officially kicks off today.

It’s that time of year again to gorge on turkey legs, funnel cakes, chickens-on-a-stick, tacos (though that’s year-round), gorditas, elote, and a plethora of other unique and tasty offerings. Aside from all the food to be had, Fiesta offers something for everyone with a wide range of events and entertainment throughout the city, most of which help raise funds for local charities, organizations, scholarships, and nonprofits. Some of these events you probably frequent annually, while others might fly under your radar. Many events are family friendly, and others are reserved for adults.

We’ve compiled a list of five Fiesta events to help you get in the Fiesta spirit. Check out these events, if you haven’t already, and learn about the great charities and organizations they locally help. Fiesta with a cause, San Anto!  

Have a favorite Fiesta event? Or favorite Fiesta food? Let us know in the comments below!   

¡Viva Fiesta!

[Liked the Rain Rock fun fact? Read more fun facts from Visit San Antonio.]

Joe De Hoyos and Gloria De Hoyos, 2015's Barrio King and Queen. (Photo courtesy: AUEDA/Pinatas in the Barrio/Facebook)

Joe De Hoyos and Gloria De Hoyos, 2015's Barrio King and Queen. (Photo courtesy: AUEDA/Pinatas in the Barrio/Facebook)

Piñatas in the Barrio

April 16 | 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Plaza Guadalupe
Admission: Free

Sponsored by AUEDA, Piñatas in the Barrio is an event the whole family can enjoy ― so bring the little ones ― and offers up the “Barrios Largest Pinata,” the crowning of the Barrio King and Queen, live music and entertainment, and, of course, great food.

The Cause: Funds raised are used to help support local artists and entertainers in hardship by offering services such as scholarships and a range of medical and financial assistance.
River barges with colorful adornments float along the Riverwalk. (Photo courtesy: TexasCavaliersRiverParade/Facebook)

River barges with colorful adornments float along the Riverwalk. (Photo courtesy: TexasCavaliersRiverParade/Facebook)

Texas Cavaliers River Parade

April 18 | 7:00 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Riverwalk
Admission: $12 – $25

A parade is pretty cool, sure, but a parade on a river is just puro awesome when you get to experience it along the banks of the Riverwalk. The Texas Cavaliers River Parade brings over 40 floats ― representing local organizations, businesses, and schools ― decorated with lights, flowers, and other festive decorations that make the entire experience a truly unique, family-friendly event.

The Cause: Funds raised are donated to local children’s charities through the Texas Cavaliers Charitable Foundation.
A performance at Cornyation 2015. (Photo courtesy: FiestaCornyation/Facebook)

A performance at Cornyation 2015. (Photo courtesy: FiestaCornyation/Facebook)

Fiesta Cornyation

April 19 – 21 | Two showings each night: 7:30 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.
Charline McCombs Empire Theatre
Admission: $15 – $35

This one is strictly for the adults. Fiesta Cornyation is a production put on by local volunteers and pokes fun at Coronation and trending local and national topics through music, dancing, and skits. Cornyation is extravagant, raunchy, and pretty damn hilarious.

The Cause: Funds raised are donated to local charities and organizations like the San Antonio AIDS Foundations (SAAF), Beat AIDS, HAC (Help, Action, Care), and toward scholarships for area high schoolers majoring in Theatre Arts.
Chips N' Salsa 2015 (Photo courtesy: Chips N Salsa/Facebook)

Chips N' Salsa 2015 (Photo courtesy: Chips N Salsa/Facebook)

Chips N’ Salsa

April 22 | 7:00 p.m. – 11 p.m.
The Plaza Club
Admission: $75 for General Admission (or $125 for VIP) and includes $500 in casino chips, a fiesta medal, and appetizers.

Another event for adults. Dust off your dancing shoes and let your inner gambler cut loose at Chips N’ Salsa. Spend a night Vegas-style with plenty of casino games, drinks, food, and salsa (both musical and edible)! Don’t salsa? Lesson are offered too, if you’re up for the challenge. All those years of online Hold'em tournaments have led you to this very moment.

The Cause: Funds raised benefit SA Youth and high-risk urban youth through various programs and education reinforcement.
King William Fair 2016 flier by artist Robert Tatum. (Photo courtesy: KingWilliamFair/Facebook)

King William Fair 2016 flier by artist Robert Tatum. (Photo courtesy: KingWilliamFair/Facebook)

King William Fair

April 23 | 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
King William Historic District
Admission: $10 for adults; Free for children 12 and under

As one of Fiesta’s most popular events, the King William Fair needs little introduction. Come out and enjoy live music and dance performances, arts and crafts vendors (including yours truly), food and drinks, a Kids Kingdom for your little ones, and, of course, a funky neighborhood parade.

The Cause: Funds raised benefit a range of inner city cultural organizations and other local nonprofits, as well as the King William Association.