Fiesta is days away. My fondest memories of Fiesta were the parades, La Semana, the Carnival on the streets of downtown, my babies on a royalty court and participating in so many Fiesta events. My first parade, I distinctly remember, was when my oldest brother was in the marching band on the drumline. Years later, I was doing the same thing. Fiesta has always been my thing. What is or was your favorite part of Fiesta? Let’s talk about it…

Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez: “Lita Ford at La Semana.”

Frances Potter: “Dancing on the street and having a few adult drinks.”

Mark Lambert: “My favorite part is that the restaurants are not as crowded while Fiesta is going on!!! I can go have a good meal, while others are paying $20 for a turkey leg!!! Enjoy! I will!!!”

Teresa Velasquez: “My favorite adult memory was Stevie Ray Vaughan at La Semana, the opening act was Joe King Carrasco! My favorite childhood memories are at the parades with my parents.”
Danzavida Mary: “As a young child walking to the parade and sitting under the Grayson bridge with my Grandmother. Such wonderful fun memories.”

Yvette Elizabeth: “Eating at my grandma’s booth and hanging with family/friends.”

Chris Castillo: “My favorite childhood memory was taking the bus downtown with my momma to watch the parade. She loved fiesta. My favorite thing as an adult was while working at the District Clerk’s office, I’d rent a room at la Quinta (across from the market square) and invite my family, friends and staff to come hang out and drink and eat, while listening to the market music. Great memories.”

Mel Castillo: “Me playing at La semana in the 90s on stage.”

Paul Budak: “I remember my first NIOSA. My mother and I were in line and suddenly a whole bunch of people cut in line. I was upset and the lady apologized after mom shushed me. We got in for free. My mom told me it was a secret service detail for Lady Bird Johnson.”

Sandy Tapia: “When my Jimmy G would play under the bridge at market square and there were thousands of people there listening to him sing.”

Gregorio De La Paz: “Doing fiesta right there by the market square where you can still get rock and roll mirrors with the pictures of the band on them are fuzzy glow in the dark posters.”

Chris R. Pelayo: “The only Fiesta I remember was the last one I went to when I was a kid. Mom & Dad took us down to Broadway near where it crosses 35/281 and as we were walking towards Broadway we saw people running and other people bloody from being shot by the sniper. Never been back to Fiesta ever since that time. Nope. Plus it’s Hella overrated and ridiculously expensive. No thanks.”

Stefani Shamloo: “When you took me for the first time and we ate all that good food.. good times! I have a pic of 7 y/o Christian eating his funnel cake. He was in heaven.
Then getting to participate in Battle of the Bands with my baby his senior year and March the parade with him.”

Ramon Chapa Jr.: “My favorite part was and is, meeting new chicks!”

Melody Mike: “Amanda.”

Michael Momo Chazz Martinez: “I have plenty of other Fiesta memories, but the one that makes me shake my head happened around 1984. I was 11 years old. I think it was all of my Aunt Carmen’s kids ( Alice, Lupe Lerma, Lydia P Ojeda, Juanita Posadas Garcia and Richard Posadas ) that came to town from South Houston and wanted to hit up the Carnival.I was allowed to go with them and on the way downtown, someone ‘called an audible’ and decided we would catch part of the Texas Cavaliers River Parade. You pay for seats on the banks of the San Antonio Riverwalk, but watching from the bridges was free. We found a smaller bridge that wasn’t that packed.
A group of people got tired of waiting, abruptly left and we slipped into the gap. It was a tight fit and because I was the shortest, I was laying my torso on the stone bridge. Having grown up with my cousins, I didn’t think anything of us being jammed so close together. I felt one of my cousins lay down the length of my back with her head resting on her arms across my shoulders.The river parade started. The vanguard was Recon Marines from the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion – USMC Reserves. They were laying down in low profile, rowing with oars in a small, rubber inflatable boat used to move silently in rivers and on coastlines. I said “that’s so cool”. My cousin says “that’s stupid. I thought that was a little weird.We watched a good chunk of the parade, before we agreed to walk over to the Carnival. As we’re walking, (I’m 99% sure it was my cousin Lupe) my cousin says “Soooo, who was your friend!?!”. I have no idea who or what they’re talking about. They all start teasing me along the lines of “it’s okay, lover boy. You can tell us about your girlfriend”. Me = completely confused.”You know. The girl who came and laid on your back.”.Me: I thought it was one of you! They all laughed even harder. There’s some ruca out there that doesn’t even know how close she was to greatness…”