Surviving Fiesta

Here are the top secrets to surviving Fiesta in San Antonio

Here are the top secrets to surviving Fiesta in San Antonio

San Antonio Fiesta dancers
Here's the insider's guide to navigating Fiesta. City of San Antonio/Facebook

Oh how we love our Fiesta. The city literally becomes a two-week party with traditional, new, and interesting programming. With 160-plus events, it’s easy to find something that suits you. And with crowds for some topping 450,000, you need some prep.

So, here it is: how to survive and thrive at Fiesta. Have fun, be prepared, and soak up every minute.

Get to know that schedule. There’s nothing worse than missing an event you’ve had your eye on since last year. The more you plan over the course of the next two weeks, the happier Fiesta you will have. It’s important to know the flow of events too. Schedules and maps are your friends. Fiesta also has an app for that, if you need it at your fingertips for those on-the-fly decisions.

Parking can be a challenge. Instead, take advantage of Uber, Lyft, and taxis. VIA's park and ride is also easy and only costs $2.50 for adults. These services make excellent designated drivers as well. A safe and well-traveled Fiesta is a must.

Prep for parades. Get there early, stake out your spot, and hold on tight. The parades are an amazing display of culture in a city that can’t get enough of it. Here are the key things to remember. Know where to find the nearest bathroom (you might have to make a 2-mile trek just to find one). Bring a folding chair, as there are only so many bleacher seats. Make friends who know where to reserve a good spot, whether a balcony or a restaurant. You can also find Supersites along the parade routes. These have lounge areas and wine and beer gardens. And if parades just aren’t your thing, but you still want to see it, find a viewing party.

Dress the part. Bust out those bright colors, blowy dresses, and throw on some bright hats or flower crowns. If you’re not stocked on flower patterns and bright colors, never fear: Retailers all over town, from Fiesta Supermarket to H-E-B, carry it all. Be organized and keep your hands free. Backpack and cross-body bags will do, as you need your hands for eating and drinking and other things.

Hungry? Fiesta has food booths for days at every event: fried or grilled everything, every meat possible on a stick (anticuchos), tacos, turkey legs, and more. You shouldn’t go hungry here, but do bring money to buy tickets. In fact, bring money for everything. Cash, not credit.

Come prepared. Let us not forget the things that will make your life easier: sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and sunglasses. As the weather warms up, you’ll be glad you brought all of them. An umbrella is a good idea as well. Hydration is important. There are too many parties to attend to not drink your water — it’s what will make the biggest difference in the two-week party you’re about to attend. 

And finally, don’t sweat the small stuff. Smash the cascarones, yell “Show us your shoes!” to everyone you meet, dance, eat, and collect all the medals. The whole city will be right alongside you. And remember not to get upset when you have beer spilled on you. It comes with the territory. Just smile, and remember this is all in good fun. 

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