The Fiesta® San Antonio Commission Inc. is a nonprofit, volunteer, self-supporting organization that plans, promotes, coordinates, and preserves Fiesta® San Antonio through the 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 as a way to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. It has evolved into one of this nation’s premier festivals with an economic impact of more than $284 million for Alamo City.
Fiesta is the Party With a Purpose, and the funds raised by official Fiesta events provide services to San Antonio citizens throughout the year. That commemoration still takes place, but for more than a century, Fiesta has grown into a celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures.
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.
Since 1959 the Fiesta San Antonio Commission 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. Click here for the full history of Fiesta San Antonio and learn more about our long-standing traditions.
Led by a volunteer board that includes community leaders and representatives from its nonprofit member organizations, the Commission works year-round to coordinate the thousands of details and day-to-day tasks essential to planning and executing the citywide celebration. The Commission acts as the liaison among participating member organizations, military participants, and the City of San Antonio to provide services essential to the producing Fiesta San Antonio year after year.
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.