The weather was perfect today. I attended the Battle of Flowers Parade today.
The city of San Antonio owes its annual Fiesta to a small group of passionate, dedicated women who started it all with the first Battle of Flowers® Parade in 1891. What began as a patriotic celebration to honor the heroes of the Alamo, Goliad and the Battle of San Jacinto has since evolved into one of the oldest and largest parades in the country. Today, The Battle of the Flowers®Association – the only all-women, all-volunteer organization producing events of its kind – continues to present the Battle of Flowers® Parade as an integral part of the citywide celebration.
The Battle of Flowers® Association is a civic non-profit organization, whose objective is to teach the history of our state and keep the patriotic traditions of Texas and San Antonio alive.
The people in the parade walk, march, ride from 9:30am to 1:00pm. It is the second largest day parade in the U.S. There are several bands, floats, a few balloons and a lot of “royalty”. As a part of the Fiesta they crown a queen, a princess and 24 duchesses several months before the parade. They then reign over the more than 100 events that occur during the 10 day festival. Each of the “royalty” wear custom designed dresses with elaborate detached jeweled trains. Supposedly the cost for the dresses is between $30,000 and $60,000. The cost is paid by the young lady or her family. Obviously, most of the “royalty” come from affluent families.
So it is a thing here during the parade for people to yell at the royalty young ladies as they go past to “show me your shoes”. So you see all the various creative shoes/boots they have.
Every band, group, etc had a “support team” that walked along handing bottle of water to the participants and also carrying mister bottles and squirting water all over the participants. A couple of men even had backpack sprayers and were spraying large amounts of water. Someone would be pulling wagons with water or golf carts with water supplies. Every time there was horses there was a “support team” to sweep up the horse deposits.
You will see women wearing flower headpieces. They call them “halos” and everyone wears them. You can buy them for $5 or so on every street corner. Another thing that is popular is cascarones (confetti eggs). They are eggshells filled with confetti and they break them over the head and then you have confetti all over your head. Of course, there are the hundreds of different kinds of medals for people to collect each year.
I had purchased my seat ticket before I came and it was not much easier to find then the river parade seating. They at least did have someone that worked the bleacher areas to help. Fortunately my seat was in the shade until the last 20 minutes or so of the parade.
After the parade ended, I had a little lunch and then drove to Mission San Jose. There are five missions here to visit. The Alamo (Mission San Antonio De Valero) is the one everyone knows. Mission San Jose is the largest. The best part was the church.