From: Thursday, April 18, 2024
To: Sunday, April 28, 2024
Fiesta San Antonio celebrates the city’s rich heritage with vibrant parades, food-centric events, and lively, local entertainment. The Gay Fiesta parties include masquerade balls, block parties, drag queen chili cook-outs and more.
- Visiting for the event? Stay close to the gay bars and clubs at the Hotel Emma at Pearl, rated “Exceptional” by guests with a stunning outdoor pool, modern gym and stylish rooms.
What started in 1891 as a way to honor the heroes from the Battle of the Alamo has transformed into a way share in the fun of celebrating our city’s largest city-wide party with a purpose, Fiesta San Antonio.
- Date & Venue to be confirmed
- Kick off the festivities with Fiesta Fiesta, an opening ceremony complete with locally-themed medal exchanges.
- As a long-standing tradition, people go on a mission to obtain and wear as many Fiesta medals as possible.
- You’ll see people wearing their weight in medals – fastened to sashes, jackets, hats and more.
- Get your own Fiesta medals at the Official Fiesta Store or at various events throughout the 11-day celebration!
The Fiesta Flambeau Parade
- Date to be confirmed – Parade Route Downtown San Antonio
- Make plans to attend one of several spectacular parades including Battle of Flowers, Fiesta Flambeau, the largest night parade in the country.
- Stay close to all the events at the Drury Plaza Hotel, rated “Fabulous” by guests with spacious rooms in a historic building.
- The Fiesta Flambeau Parade began in 1948. The parade’s name comes from the French word for a candlestick or torch. In the event’s early years, four-man brigades marched between the other units, carrying torches on five-foot poles. Today Boy Scouts carry safety flares. All the floats in the Flambeau Parade are lighted.
- Don’t forget your cascarones – colorful eggshells filled with confetti – for sharing (and breaking!) along the parade routes.
- Note this year due to parade route changes, the event goes through the gay district.
Fiesta on the Rainbow
- Date to be confirmed
- The Strip SA bars, Luther’s Cafe, Heat Nightclub, Knockout’s Sports Bar, and Sparky’s English pub hosts two block parties with premium seating to view the parade. Book your tickets.
The Texas Cavaliers River Parade
- Date to be confirmed 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm, San Antonio Riverwalk
- For years King Antonio had no set tradition for his official arrival at Fiesta. He used planes, trains and automobiles.
- When the Works Progress Administration completed improvements to the San Antonio River in 1941, the Cavaliers decided to introduce the king in a river parade—the first event to take place on the river after the improvements.
- Today the River Parade is one of the few in the nation in which the floats really do float. About 250,000 people line the banks to enjoy the event.
- Check out the top hotels close to the Riverwalk and stay right in the heart of the party!
Night in Old San Antonio
- Date to be confirmed, 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, La Villita 418 La Villita Street.
- For fun with food and drinks, don’t miss Oyster Bake, A Night in Old San Antonio, a Taste of New Orleans, and more.
- Listen to jazz and enjoy beignets and escargot in French Quarter. The old west comes alive in Frontier Town with its famous Shypoke Eggs and country music. Drink Irish beer in Irish Flats.
- Check out the top hotels close to La Villita Historic Arts district.
- Tejano sounds and famous handmade Maria’s tortillas can be found in Haymarket. Have nostalgic fun in Clown Alley. The music in Froggy Bottom rocks as you wait for the famous Chicken on a Stick.
- It’s always 4th of July in Main Street USA. The Mexican Market area features great music and the very popular Anticuchos beef-kabob. Find sizzling sausage and a German Oompa band in Sauerkraut Bend. Sample cuisine influenced by Northern Mexico in South of the Border. Colorful Spanish murals will surround you in Villa España.
- It takes about 16,000 volunteers each year to stage NIOSA.
- Gay Night at Night – take the gay Annual Pride Ride Shuttle from the Main Avenue Strip to the gates of NIOSA and back. Shuttle runs from 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM. Cost is $5 roundtrip.
Other events where you can explore the city’s distinctive culture with deep roots include A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada, and more.
Gay Events during Fiesta San Antonio
- San Antonio’s Main Avenue is interchangeably referred to as “The Strip” and “The Gay Strip,” but it’s gay no matter what you call it. Located just north of downtown, in Tobin Hill, this central gayborhood district doesn’t fall short on rainbow flair.
- The best hotels closest to the gay district are found downtown, in the Riverwalk district.
- Awaiting dates and venue confirmations for the 2024 gay parties.
- The Webb Party – a gay ball raising funds for the Aids foundation, at the Aztec Theatre.
- The Chili Queens Cook-Off presented by the Happy Foundation at the Bonham Exchange.
- Viva Fiesta at Public Theater of San Antonio. Celebrate Fiesta with an evening featuring the city’s premier drag performers at San Antonio’s Fiesta Frenzy, hosted by the Mistresses of Ceremonies Eryca Daniels and Autumn Summers.
- Fiesta Cornyation – the “raunchiest and cheapest” event of Fiesta. The extravaganza is part drag show, part satirical revue, part beer hall bawdy-fest, at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.
- Battle of Flowers After Party – the Battle of Flowers Parade passes along Alamo Plaza in front of the Menger Hotel, an area where traditionally LGBTs gather to watch to the parade. After the parade, many revelers head over to the Bonham Exchange for an unofficial after party that continues until the early evening.
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil The 9th Annual Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil masquerade party will benefit Fiesta Youth, a nonprofit that offers peer support, friendship, enrichment activities for LGBTQ Youth. The event is held at the Botanical Garden. Masks are encouraged.
Where to stay in San Antonio?
The following hotels are currently trending with our readers. All are close to the festival’s main events and activities:
Grand Hyatt, The Westin Riverwalk, Hilton Palacio del Rio, Marriott Riverwalk
Stunning hotels in San Antonio
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Grand Hyatt is our editors choice
when we are in San Antonio
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Grand Hyatt San Antonio boasts an outdoor heated lap pool and sun terrace. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free WiFi is available throughout the property and valet parking is available on site. All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower. Some rooms feature a seating area
This hotel features an on-site Italian restaurant. Guests also have access to a spa and an outdoor pool. A 42-inch flat-screen TV is found in each modern room at The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio. Coffee-making facilities with Starbucks coffees are also included. Zocca Restaurant and Bar serves sophisticated Italian meals throughout the day.
Offering an exceptional location directly on San Antonio’s famous River Walk. On-site at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, guests can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool as well as a modern fitness centre. There are also several dining options located on-site. The hotel also provides guests with private balconies in every guestroom.
Ideally located along the San Antonio River Walk entertainment district, this hotel offers its guests an indoor and outdoor swimming pool as well as rooms with a balcony. Guest rooms are furnished with a seating area, a work desk, and a flat-panel TV with cable channels. Each room is equipped with a safety deposit box and ironing facilities.
Fiesta San Antonio Highlights
Book with confidence. Get the best Prices from our partner Expedia
We have chosen hotels in San Antonio that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
This smoke-free hotel features a restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a 24-hour fitness center. Additionally, a bar/lounge, a poolside bar, and a coffee shop/café are onsite. All 146 rooms offer free WiFi, 24-hour room service, and LED TVs with satellite channels. Other amenities available to guests include refrigerators, minibars, and premium bedding.
A full-service spa, a restaurant, and an outdoor pool are available at this smoke-free hotel. Additionally, a 24-hour fitness center, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar are onsite. All 162 offer free wired Internet and minibars. Comforts include Egyptian cotton sheets and down comforters, and guests will also appreciate thoughtful touches like espresso makers
This hotel features 2 restaurants, a restaurant, and an outdoor pool. Other amenities include 3 bars/lounges, a fitness center, and a poolside bar. All 277 rooms feature thoughtful touches like bathrobes and slippers, plus free WiFi, free wired Internet, and LCD TVs with cable channels. Guests will also find pillowtop beds, iPod docks, and refrigerators.
A restaurant, a bar/lounge, & self parking are available at this hotel. Other amenities include conference space, concierge services, & dry cleaning. All 27 individually decorated rooms feature free WiFi & room service. For a bit of entertainment, guests will find flat-screen TVs with cable channels, and other amenities include refrigerators & premium bedding.