The Fiesta® San Antonio Commission Inc. is a nonprofit, volunteer, self-supporting organization that plans, promotes, coordinates, and preserves Fiesta® San Antonio through support of its Participating Member Organizations in presenting a safe, educational, annual celebration of the diverse heritage, culture and spirit of San Antonio for its residents and visitors.
What is Fiesta® San Antonio?
Fiesta® San Antonio started in 1891 as a one-parade event. It evolved into one of this nation’s premier festivals, with an economic impact of more than $284 million for the Alamo City. Fiesta® is the Party With a Purpose. The funds raised by official Fiesta® events provide services to San Antonio citizens throughout the year. So you could say that Fiesta® never ends! Fiesta® really is one of America’s truly great festivals. It began as a way to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. That commemoration still takes place. But over the past century and more, Fiesta® has grown into a celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures. 2013 marks Fiesta’s 122nd anniversary.
History of Fiesta®
In 1891, a group of ladies decorated horse-drawn carriages, paraded in front of the Alamo, and pelted each other with flower blossoms. The parade was organized to honor the heroes from the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. Read More Fiesta® San Antonio Commission Since 1959 the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission, led by a volunteer board that includes community leaders and representatives from its nonprofit member organizations, has made it happen! In fact, the commission coordinates the Fiesta® planning activities of 100 local nonprofit organizations and the more than 75,000 volunteers it takes to make Fiesta® San Antonio a real Texas-sized festival!
The commission works year-around to coordinate the thousands of details and day-to-day tasks essential to the planning and execution of the huge citywide celebration. It also acts as the liaison between participating member organizations, local military activities taking part in Fiesta® and the departments of the City of San Antonio that provide key services absolutely essential to the conduct of Fiesta® San Antonio.
The Commission promotes Fiesta® San Antonio regionally, nationally, and internationally, and the festival has become a popular attraction for visitors from far and wide. Some 3.5 million party-goers enjoy Fiesta® San Antonio. More than 20 percent of Fiesta-goers travel from across the state, the nation, and even the world!
One of the most important functions of the Fiesta® Commission is the funding of Fiesta® events that are not financially self-supporting. In 2012 the commission provided some $375,000 to the participating member organizations that sponsor such events. The commission itself is funded entirely by the private sector and receives no governmental funding. Instead, it relies heavily on membership dues, retail sales and corporate participation to remain self-sustaining.
The commission also supports other local nonprofit groups like Scout troops, PTAs, civic clubs and others through parade street chair sales. These 100-plus groups can raise thousands of dollars each year–about $600,000 combined for the Battle of Flowers® and Fiesta Flambeau® parades.