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Thank you, San Antonio!

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An enthusiastic thank you to the 3.5 million San Antonio residents and visitors who attended the 2013 Fiesta®! Your participation made our 11day festival one of the biggest and best in the world. Fiesta® is not called a “Party with a Purpose” for nothing. Behind each of the 100-plus events on the Fiesta® schedule is a local nonprofit organization or a Fiesta® San Antonio Commission participating member organization that works all year long to be ready for the fun in April. These organizations also benefit from their Fiesta® events. For example, if you attended the Fiesta® Oyster Bake©, you helped to contribute to scholarships for St. Mary’s University students. An evening spent at Night in Old San Antonio® raised funds to restore and preserve historical landmarks in the city. Supporting the Fiesta® Arts Fair put money in the coffers of the Southwest School of Art so that it can continue its community art education programs.

The other groups that sponsor Fiesta® events, including military organizations, give back to the community by providing education, religious ministries, cultural activities, athletic opportunities for youth, health services and the defense of our great country. In addition to the support that each of the participating member organizations receives from the proceeds of its sponsored event, the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission also helps give back. This year the Commission gave nearly $400,000 to its member organizations to help run their events. The Commission relies on the support of corporate sponsors as well as individual memberships and proceeds from The Fiesta Store® and Fiesta® Carnival to allocate funds to the events that need additional support. Without these dollars, some of the events we have grown to love would not have been able to succeed. In order to receive dollars from the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission, a participating member organization must have a plan to become self-sufficient in the years to come. Overall, Fiesta® San Antonio has an economic impact of almost $300 million on the City of San Antonio each year. Again, it’s the participating member organizations that make this possible. For more information on how you can join the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission in planning, promoting, coordinating and preserving Fiesta® San Antonio, please visit our website at To become a member, just return the completed membership form in this special section. Thank you again, San Antonio, and Viva Fiesta®!

Marilyn Eldridge President Fiesta® San Antonio Commission Inc.

COVER IMAGE: ©2013 Fiesta® San Antonio Commission, Inc. Art by Stuart A. Seal

This April marked 122 years of Fiesta® in San Antonio! Fiesta® has grown tremendously over the years with each generation of San Antonians leaving their own imprint on the festivities, giving rise to today’s 11-day array of cultural, artistic, culinary and historical celebrations. While the growth and development of San Antonio is reflected in the evolution of Fiesta®, the foundation of the citywide celebration remains unchanged: celebrating San Antonio’s past, present and future! As San Antonio emerges as a national leader in sustainability, green initiatives like Fiesta Verde® keep Fiesta® moving in the same direction. Last year, 16 percent of all garbage collected at Fiesta® events was recycled. Since the inception of Fiesta Verde®, more than 27 tons of waste have been recycled at events like NIOSA®, Fiesta Fiesta® and at all Fiesta® parades. Two years ago, the City developed a certification program that identified the carbon footprints of Fiesta® events and promoted policies aimed at reducing waste, energy and material consumption at these events. San Antonio also expanded our bicycle sharing system to more locations throughout downtown in an effort to encourage more eco-friendly modes of transportation to and from events. Some Fiesta® events, like “A Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA)®,” went one step further by offering bicycle valet service at these events. It is through these efforts that Fiesta® San Antonio has grown to be recognized as one of the world’s “greenest” events. Fiesta® has been a consistent winner in the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) Pinnacle Awards, taking as many as nine gold, silver or bronze prizes in a single year. For the past two years, Fiesta Verde® has earned the Silver Pinnacle Award for Best Environmental Program in the large festival category. Success like this doesn’t happen overnight, but rather through the work of thousands of volunteers who are all dedicated to establishing a “green” legacy that can be passed on to future generations. With the help of more than 100 nonprofit organizations, Fiesta® San Antonio has demonstrated true environmental stewardship while maintaining the traditions that make our city special. Whether it be charitable donations, college scholarships or environmental awareness, Fiesta® is living up to its reputation as San Antonio’s Party with a Purpose. We are committed to keeping that legacy alive.

Viva Fiesta San Antonio! ®

The Party with a Purpose By Anne Moore

Photos Courtesy of Fiesta® San Antonio Commission/©Jon Alonzo

The Beginning Way back in 1891, some local women wanted to salute the heroes of the battles of the Alamo and San

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Jacinto. They organized a parade of carriages with the ladies on board “battling” by tossing flowers at each other. The annual parade was dubbed the Battle of Flowers, and the group of organizers was officially called the Battle of Flowers® Association. Who knew the fabulous Fiesta® we all know and love today would evolve from such simple beginnings? A quick look at the following time line will show how Fiesta® developed over the years: Archive Photo Copyright Fiesta® San Antonio Commission



y First Battle of Flowers® Parade. y Battle of Flowers® Parade extended to a week-long celebration. y The first queen of Fiesta® was chosen. y The Battle of Flowers® Association assumed responsibility for the parade, added some children’s events and a band contest. y The Order of the Alamo started the tradition of the election of a Fiesta® queen and her royal court and a very elaborate coronation ceremony. y A Fiesta® king was chosen by local business organizations and bore fun names like Selamat (tamales spelled backwards) and Omala (Alamo spelled backwards). y The Texas Cavaliers were organized and introduced King Antonio, to be designated from within their ranks each year thereafter.

y Although established years before, the San Antonio Conservation Society became an important player during Fiesta® with its Night in Old San Antonio®, held downtown in historic La Villita. So popular and festive, it grew from one night to four consecutive nights during the 1950s. y The Fiesta® San Antonio Commission began with a group of volunteers to promote and coordinate the planning of the entire week of parades and other celebrations. Two more major parades have now been added to their oversight — the River Parade and the Fiesta Flambeau® Parade. Today, the Commission’s full-time staff plans and coordinates with the 100-plus nonprofit organizations, military personnel, schools, churches, neighborhoods, sports venues and the myriad of other participants each year. The Commission is responsible for arranging the necessary city services to assure a safe, clean environment.

1980s p

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) began a parade called Paseo del Rey Feo® and elected Rey Feo (ugly king), to represent the organization at Fiesta® events each year.


Daughters of the Republic of Texas were now sponsoring the Pilgrimage to the Alamo, a solemn parade through town, ending at the Alamo with a presentation of flowers and the reading of the names of the heroes who died there.

No. 1 Fiesta® San Antonio is an 11-day citywide, fun-filled, multicultural, family-oriented “party with a purpose.”

No. 2 The economic impact of Fiesta is nearly $300 million annually.

No. 3 The American Bus Association named Fiesta® an International Event of Distinction for 2011 and 2012.

No. 4 Fiesta® traditionally starts on or before April 21, San Jacinto Day.

No. 5 The 100 nonprofit member organizations of Fiesta® work throughout the year to help their neighbors.

The Present Fiesta® is more that just a party of over 100 events. It’s the only festival in the world with this many events, each run entirely by nonprofit groups. Presently, 3.5 million people attend Fiesta® events, bringing over $300 million to our community. It takes over 75,000 volunteers to make these events happen. Each event-sponsoring organization keeps its proceeds for the operation of its own programs. These nonprofit programs, in turn, enhance the quality of life in San Antonio.

Following are a few examples of how Fiesta® impacts San Antonio, over and above the monies visitors spend at hotels and restaurants. The San Antonio Conservation Society’s “A Night in Old San Antonio®” (NIOSA®) draws 80,000 revelers to celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of San Antonio. It is served by 16,000 volunteers offering four nights of ethnic costumes, foods and entertainment in historic La Villita. By using only local suppliers, service companies and entertainers, NIOSA® is able to put over $1.3 million back into our local economy. The society spends around $350,000 of its NIOSA® proceeds annually on the restoration and preservation of historic properties and parks, the top sum in the nation. An additional $400,000 is used for heritage educational projects and scholarships. Such past project milestones include the salvation of the bend in the river known as Paseo del Rio, adding its arching pedestrian bridges and outdoor theater. Other important historical structures preserved and renovated by the Society

No. 6 Profits from the Fiesta® Oyster Bake©, sponsored by St. Mary’s University Alumni Association, go into a $6 million endowment fund for scholarships.

No. 7 Texas Cavaliers donated $251,000 to local children’s charities in 2011.

No. 8 Fiesta® began as a way to honor the memory of heroes of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto.

No. 9 El Rey Feo’s Scholarship Fund has raised more than $3 million to help San Antonio students continue their education.

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include the Spanish Governor’s Palace, several of our missions, the José Antonio Navarro Home and many architecturally significant homes and buildings downtown. Other major preservations are the Ursuline Convent and Academy (now the Southwest School of Art), the beautiful Aztec Theatre and two parks — Travis and San Pedro. The charm and history of these projects attract many visitors to San Antonio.

The Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation hosts a 10-day event called Fiesta de los Reyes® at Market Square. This event supports the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Rey Feo program and the scholarship programs. In conjunction with the Alamo Community College District, the Lulac-Reina de las Flores Parent/Child Scholarship is supported. The goal of the scholarship is to ensure the educational success of two generations by providing support, assistance and incentive for parents and their children to successfully complete their educational objectives. $25,000 is given each year to establish a scholarship endowment in the name of a parent or child who completes their educational goal in the Alamo Community College System. In 2012, 130 Rey Feo scholarships and 26 Parent/Child scholarships were awarded. Since the 1940s, the Texas Cavaliers have sponsored the King Antonio program and the River Parade, viewed by 250,000 spectators each year. The brightly decorated, lighted floats, some with live entertainment or famous persons on board, are underwritten by corporations to showcase nonprofit organizations, recognize the military and pay tribute to our varied cultures. The Texas Cavalier Foundation distributes proceeds to numerous children’s charities. Last year, $251,000 included gifts to Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, the Children’s Shelter of San Antonio and Good Samaritan Community Services.

No. 10 Fiesta® involves 75,000 volunteers from 100 nonprofit groups who coordinate over 100 events.

No. 11 More than 100 small local nonprofit groups – scout troops, church groups, civic clubs, etc. – can raise up to $600,000 by selling street chairs for the two biggest parades.


a satire of the Fiesta® queen’s coronation, city activities, local politicians and so forth, has donated over $1.3 million to local charities since its inception. Last year’s proceeds of $142,000 benefited the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, the Black Effort Against the Threat of AIDS, the Help, Action, Care program and the Robert Rehm Theatre Arts Scholarship for high school thespians wanting to further their education in theater.

St. Mary University’s Oyster Bake©, run by the Alumni Association, is a day and a half of eating oysters (100,000) and other foods and beverages, while continuous music entertains from five separate stages. Last year over $625,000 was raised for scholarships for St. Mary’s students.

The University of the Incarnate Word Cutting-Edge Fashion Show is planned and executed by student designers displaying their fashions. Last year, they added $42,000 to the fashion program at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Mission Fest, held on the last Sunday of Fiesta® in the courtyard of one of our historic missions, is a day filled with fun, music and food, with the proceeds going to the building fund of the parish center.

Clark High School’s Family Funday Sunday, a community event, claims the prize for the shortest parade of Fiesta®. Even though the band marches only around the high school, the event raised $13,000 for the school band programs this past year.

No. 12 Participating member organizations include churches, colleges, schools, health organizations, athletic groups, arts and other charitable organizations.

No. 13 Over 3.5 million people attend Fiesta® events each year.

No. 14 Fiesta® San Antonio ranks among the top 10 festivals worldwide by attendance.

No. 15 Randolph Art League Exhibit and Sale donates to the Battered Women’s Foundation.

No. 16 Fiesta® Pooch Parade, sponsored by Therapy Animals of San Antonio, provides specially trained dogs for visits to hospitals, hospices and schools.

No. 17 Texas Corvette Association Car Show raises money for the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, providing a safe haven for abandoned, abused and neglected children.

The Future For the first time in its 54 year history, the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission has created a strategic plan for the organization and for Fiesta®. This plan will help guide the organization through the next few years and set the stage for the 125th anniversary in April of 2016. The plan has five main emphasis areas, which are listed below. p Develop a Strategic Culture Fiesta® is one of the top festivals in the United States. The organization will build its infrastructure with additional staff to analyze and implement industry trends and create a much richer experience for event attendees. p Tell the Fiesta® Story Fiesta® is the only festival in the world that comprises 100 events, each run by a different nonprofit organization. It truly celebrates the history, culture, arts and diversity of San Antonio. Proceeds from each event are used the enhance the programs of the sponsoring organization. We need to tell the story of the impact of these efforts, allowing the festival to grow regionally, nationally and internationally. p Strengthen the Relationships of the Participating Member Organizations and the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission The Commission is a membership-driven association of individuals, businesses and the nonprofits that run the various Fiesta® events. It's the umbrella organization that oversees all components of the city-wide celebration. Its goals are to be a resource center for the nonprofits, to develop partnerships with such groups as the San Antonio Area Foundation and to strengthen the volunteer and nonprofit community. p Enhance Outreach to the Community The Commission will build its base of fans by building an online community and increasing its membership base. Its programming will include activities throughout the year, including a speaker's bureau program. p Strengthen the Financial Position A financial commitment is needed to build Fiesta® as an international destination. Sponsorship opportunities allow organizations to become involved with Fiesta® at any level and are geared to the organization's goals and objectives. The Fiesta Store®, at 2611 Broadway, is now open throughout the year to sell all things Fiesta® and to display the work of local artisans and crafters. The Commission hopes to expand its charitable impact through the Fiesta® Commission Charitable Corporation.

The bottom line: Expand the scope of Fiesta® San Antonio’s image to expand its charitable impact on San Antonio.


No. 18 About 35 volunteers from the Conservation Society work yearround making more than 120,000 cascarones to sell at NIOSA®.

No. 19 More than 16,000 volunteers help produce NIOSA®, which provides more revenue for historic preservation than almost any other event in the country.

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Miss Fiesta San Antonio

Victoria Flores When Victoria M. Flores was crowned Miss Fiesta San Antonio® earlier this year, she followed in the line of women who have held this honor beginning in 1949. A student at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, she is committed to healthy living and spreading its awareness throughout the community. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research intern at the Cardiology Clinic of San Antonio and learned firsthand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. She now works as a fitness instructor at a gym.

Flores is a member of the 2012-2013 UT Health Science Center’s Frontera de Salud leadership team, an interdisciplinary student-run volunteer organization committed to bringing health care to underserved areas in South Texas. During the past school year she served as the Nursing School liaison and Laredo trip leader. When she began volunteering, Frontera consisted primarily of medical students. She became the first nursing student to serve in leadership and was able to increase nursing involvement in the program. Now on every Frontera trip about half the volunteers come from the nursing discipline, allowing for true interdisciplinary care. In Laredo she’s worked with Mercy Ministries to coordinate sports physicals, blood screenings, BMI and blood pressure screenings, health education classes and influenza vaccines in the underserved areas of the city. To date, Frontera has served 278 people in Laredo and the surrounding area.

As Miss Fiesta San Antonio®, Flores’ platform project is to promote a healthy community through Zumba fitness and community health fairs to educate the public on heart-healthy lifestyles. She proposes working through physical education classes in the San Antonio and Edgewood School Districts since they have the highest rates of children with unhealthy weight. These proposals are in line with the mayor’s vision for SA2020 health and fitness.

No. 20 In 2013 Fiesta® parades took over the city with 11 parades in 11 days.

No. 21 The Fiesta® Oyster Bake© proceeds fund full or partial scholarships for over 230 St. Mary's University students.

No. 22 Fiesta® started in 1891 when a group of San Antonio women gathered to celebrate San Jacinto Day and Texas independence. They threw flowers at one another from their carriages, and the “Battle of Flowers” was born.

No. 23 “Super scoopers,” middle and high-school students, have been cleaning up after equestrian units in the Fiesta® parades since 1961.

No. 24 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.

A Mania for Medals! t’s hard to believe that colorful medals haven’t always been a part of Fiesta®, but apparently the tradition started in 1971, when King Antonio XLIX, Charles Orsinger, punched holes into 200 royal coins, strung them with ribbon and handed them out at Fiesta® events. Only 200? Now you see individual Fiesta®-goers who are wearing that many on their sash, jacket or dress. Other Fiesta® followers think the medal tradition started earlier, perhaps in the 1960s. But by the mid-2000s the pins were firmly ensconced as part of Fiesta® lore, along with cascarones, hats and comfortable shoes. Fiesta® royalty gives out pins, and many organizations sell their own as fundraisers. Businesses highlight their brands via pins, and individuals are free to make their own to trade. Some artisans construct pins by themselves, while others take their designs to professional medal companies. One of the pioneers in the medal movement was Lt. Col Leon Childers, who was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in the late ‘70s. He had been an avid Volksmarcher during his tour in Germany and saw firsthand how medals were used to create enthusiasm among recipients. Looking for an idea to generate camaraderie with the general public during Fiesta® events, he came up with the idea of making a military-looking medal that was Fiesta® themed for the General to hand out during select events. The idea proved to be a hit! When he retired from the Army in 1984, Col. Childers started his own company, Heart of Texas Promotional Products, LLC, and spread the word about Fiesta® Medals to anyone willing to listen. He is still collecting Fiesta® medals, along with others from Disney and Volksport events.

No. 25 The Fiesta® Oyster Bake© is coordinated by 7,000 volunteers contributing 50,000 volunteer hours.

No. 26 Over 1 million Fiesta® medals are produced annually, celebrating a tradition that is said to have started because of San Antonio's military history.

No. 27 The Fiesta Flambeau® Parade began in 1948. The parade’s name comes from the French word for a candlestick or torch.

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The Rain Rock is officially hung on a tree next to the NIOSA® headquarters in La Villita on the first Monday of Fiesta® to chase away bad weather. This tradition has been in place for 30 years!

No. 29 Local corporations donate money, goods or services to the member nonprofits to offset expenses.

No. 30 Fiesta® San Antonio is considered by many to be one of two great American celebrations, the other being Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

No. 31 The Fiesta® Oyster Bake© serves over 100,000 oysters (baked, fried and raw).

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Fiesta through the years Celebrating 122 years of the Party with a Purpose




2000s to today

Archive Photos Copyright Fiesta速 San Antonio Commission

The Fiesta® Commission Charitable Corporation The Fiesta® Commission Charitable Corporation supports programs, events and nonprofit organizations that create a safe, healthy and educational Fiesta®. They preserve the history, culture and heritage of San Antonio and positively impact economic development and tourism. Programs includes festival infrastructure, safety and health, history and heritage, education, and arts and culture. Over the next few years, the Charitable Corporation will be developing structured programs. Some highlights of programs in development include the following:

Infrastructure Building the infrastructure of Fiesta® Includes volunteer management, allocations for organizations and events that are not self-sufficient, and programs designed to build the festival overall. In 2013, the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission and Charitable Corporation donated $375,000 to organizations to help with their events and programs. In addition, with the over $600,000 to nonprofits that sell street chairs during the Battle of Flowers® Parade and the Fiesta Flambeau® Parade, the Commission and the Charitable Corporation donates nearly $1 million each year.

No. 32 For many of these participating nonprofit groups, Fiesta® is their primary annual fundraiser.

No. 33 In 1941, the first River Parade, sponsored by the Texas Cavaliers, was part of the dedication ceremony for the city’s river beautification.

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Safety and Health Fiesta Safe Rides® is a program that has been a partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, Silver Eagle, Valero, Gabriel’s and the City of San Antonio Police Department. This program promotes being safe during Fiesta® and planning ahead in obtaining a designated driver or safe way home. With Yellow Cab as a partner, Fiesta Safe Rides® has allowed individuals to obtain taxi vouchers or gift cards so the individual can obtain a safe way to and from a Fiesta® event. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, there were no fatalities during Fiesta® week caused by a drunk driver. Fiesta Verde® is the green initiative. The Fiesta® Commission Charitable Corporation works with partners such as Keep San Antonio Beautiful and the City of San Antonio to promote an environmentally friendly festival. Fiesta Verde® implemented a plan in 2012 to increase trash collection and recycling along the parade route by including 96-gallon residential containers along the route. • Over 700 containers, split between trash and recycling, were located along the parade route on cross streets. • City of San Antonio Eco Station signage was located at each collection of containers. • Yellow recycling bags were distributed to spectators along the parade, both by Fiesta Verde® volunteers and before the parade along the route. • In 2012, overall trash collected at the parades was 67.9 tons compared with 93.8 tons in 2011, a decrease of 25.9 tons or 28 percent. Recycling rate for the parades increased by 1 percent to 14 percent. Fiesta Fit® is our wellness platform and will include programs to educate festival-goers on healthy food options and how to remain fit throughout the year. Miss Fiesta San Antonio® 2013 will be coordinating a project in this area.

History and Heritage

The King William Fair® celebrates diversity of Texas' first historic neighborhood with music, food, artisans and a parade.

No. 35 Texas Cavaliers’ charitable foundation has given more than $2 million since 1994.

No. 36 San Antonio AIDS Foundation WEBB Party’s revenue is used to serve AIDS patients throught the year.

No. 37 The pilgrimage to the Alamo has taken place the Monday after April 21 every Fiesta® since 1925.

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The Military Ambassador program is unique to Fiesta . A male and a female ambassador are chosen from each branch of service through a rigorous application process and interview. These individuals are escorted throughout Fiesta® to promote the armed services. In 2013, the Fiesta Commission Charitable Corporation created a fund to help offset the costs of this important program, which was affected by cuts from sequestration. This has allowed the Charitable Corporation to set a course to ensure the continuation of celebrating the armed services during Fiesta®.

The Fiesta® Arts Fair, at the Southwest School of Art, displays some 120 artisans’ ceramics, paintings, jewelry and more.


The Fiesta Flambeau® Parade is the largest illuminated night parade in America.


The newest program under education is the Miss Fiesta San Antonio® program. This program selects an accomplished young woman to serve as an intern with the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission. Part of the interview process is for the applicant to devise a project around one of the program areas of the Fiesta® Commission Charitable Corporation. Since the Fiesta® Commission Charitable Corporation is a 501-c(3) organization, donations are tax deductible.

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No. 40 Fiesta® San Antonio has taken place every spring for over a century!

Membership ®

Become a part of the city’s biggest and best festival.

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All Membership Categories include the following benefits:

Please send the completed for to the: Fiesta® San Antonio Commission Inc. 2611 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78215

• 15% discount on all Fiesta® merchandise at The Fiesta Store® • Fiesta® San Antonio Commission Membership Pin • A 2014 Fiesta®wall calendar




• Fiesta® San Antonio Commission Membership Card


The following Membership Categories receive additional benefits based on membership level. Visit our website,, for details.

Company Name

Individual Membership Categories Individual Lifetime President’s Circle ($2,000+)


Individual President’s Circle ($250) Couple Premier ($100) Basic Individual ($40) City



Active Military ($25) Student ($15)

Phone Number (with area code)

Nonprofit Membership Category


Nonprofit Supporter of Fiesta® ($300) Business Membership Categories Membership Category

Ambassador Business ($1,000)


Envoy Business ($250)

Diplomat Business ($500) Amount Enclosed

Credit Card Number

Check or Credit Card

Basic Business ($150)

Expiration Date

If paying by check, please make the charitable donation payable to Fiesta® San Antonio Commission. Memberships run from August 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014.

Cardholder’s Name For more information call 210-227-5191 or visit Cardholder’s Signature


Thank you to our sponsors The Fiesta速 San Antonio Commission is extremely grateful to its 2013 Fiesta速 official sponsors. They help make Fiesta速 the community extravaganza it is through their outstanding and continued support.







San Antonio Woman Fiesta Insert