Battle Of Flowers Parade
Organized and produced entirely by San Antonio women, the Battle of Flowers Parade is one of the largest parades in the nation. The Battle of Flowers parade is the origin of San Antonio's ten day Fiesta celebration with several hours of decorative floats, marching bands, and other colorful parade entries. Over 300,000 families and children attend the parade each year.
Battle Of Flowers Parade History
The very roots of Fiesta are firmly planted within this amazing organization and its annual parade. In April of 1891, then President Benjamin Harrison came to San Antonio. During his trip, he was to make a speech commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto (the battle in which Texas won its independence from Mexico and became an independent nation - The Republic of Texas). Several ladies of society planned a parade and a battle of flowers in President Harrison's honor. Sadly, a very heavy rain on the day of the President's arrival caused the parade and battle to be postponed until the weather was clear. Three days later on April 24, 1891, when the President was gone, the parade was carried out as originally planned. Luckily many of the still living survivors of the Battle of San Jacinto had assembled in town for a reunion and were able to celebrate with the local residents. San Antonio's elite marched through the city to Alamo Plaza. When the crown was fully assembled, the people divided into two teams and began a battle of flowers. Over the years the flower battle disappeared, but the parade remains, and for some, it is the highlight of Fiesta.
San Antonio Battle of Flowers Association
Made up entirely of women, the Battle of Flowers Association is an organization founded in 1891. The roots of Fiesta are traced back to the Battle of Flowers Parade and Association with the 1891 parade being the defining event that grew and evolved into what is now Fiesta. One might say that the Battle of Flowers Association started Fiesta. The organization is made up of women from prominent San Antonio families. The Battle of Flowers Association plans and prepares for this parade for close to a full year attending meetings, coordinating entries, and working closely with Fiesta and city officials. Ticket sales are organized by the women and distributed at the Fiesta Commission headquarters and throughout San Antonio. Members of the Battle of Flowers Association can be spotted easily on parade day as they're all wearing yellow dresses and yellow hats. This group of talented San Antonio ladies produce a world class event earning national attention and recognition.
Today's Battle of Flowers Parade
One of San Antonio's largest events occurs Friday afternoon during Fiesta and is televised on local network stations. Most employers and schools close on this Friday afternoon for the Battle of Flowers Parade. This parade is in remembrance of the fallen soldiers of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The parade entrants range from musical marching bands and school floats to floats carrying the fiesta royalty winding their way through downtown San Antonio. The Battle of Flowers Parade tradition for these royalty floats is the crowd yelling "show us your shoes!".
The duchesses, queen, and princess traditionally wear tennis shoes, boots, or flip-flops that obviously don't go with their jewel covered gowns and crowns. The parade route takes all floats through Alamo Plaza and once in front of the Alamo, the float (band or other entry) stops and delivers a bouquet of flowers or a wreath to one of the cadets guarding the Alamo. This delivery of flowers or wreath is an homage paid to the fallen soldiers of the battle of the Alamo. The Battle of Flowers parade is one of the largest parades in the nation and is unique because it is organized and produced entirely by San Antonio women. It is the only parade in the world of its kind. Make sure to bring a hat and some sun screen because parade watchers can get a sun burn if they're not under any shade.