FEBRUARY 9, 2023 — For the past 131 years, parade patrons have lined the downtown streets of San Antonio for the oldest parade of Fiesta San Antonio, The Battle of Flowers Parade.
The 132nd edition will feature UTSA head football coach Jeff Traylor as the Grand Marshal.
The parade will be held on Friday, April 28, with over 9,000 participants strutting their stuff in the parade where Fiesta began in 1891.
The theme for the 132nd annual parade — “The Battle of Flowers … Where Fiesta Reigns!” — will celebrate the cultural diversity and unbridled merriment that reigns supreme both night and day in a city that loves to party.
UTSA head football coach Jeff Traylor posed with Rowdy the Roadrunner after being named the Grand Marshal for the upcoming Battle of Flowers Parade during a ceremony Thursday at the Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence.
Each year, a Grand Marshal is selected to lead The Battle of Flowers Parade as it winds its way through the downtown streets of San Antonio. Traylor was officially introduced today as the 2023 Battle of Flowers Parade Grand Marshal.
“Coach Traylor embodies the spirit of our community, and personifies the leadership skills that allow others to reach their potential under his tutelage,” said KaRynn O’Connell, Battle of Flowers Parade chairman. “We are proud to announce that Coach Jeff Traylor is our 2023 Grand Marshal.”
Named UTSA’s third head football coach in December 2019, Traylor has had an immediate impact on the program, the university and city of San Antonio in a short period of time.
The two-time Conference USA Coach of the Year took over a program that won a combined seven games in the two seasons prior to his arrival and has led the Roadrunners to a 30-10 record in his first three years at the helm, already the most wins and best winning percentage by a coach in program history. He also guided UTSA to back-to-back C-USA championships and top-25 rankings in all three major polls in each of the last two seasons, as well as to bowl games for three years in a row.
“I’m truly honored to be selected as Grand Marshal for this year’s Battle of Flowers Parade. San Antonio knows how to throw a party and Fiesta has quickly become one of my favorite events,” Traylor said. “I’m very proud to be able to represent UTSA and our 210 Triangle of Toughness culture in this prestigious role and I can’t wait for the parade on April 28.”
And what a parade it will be. Stepping off at 9:30 a.m., the parade route will remain the same as last year, due to construction on Broadway and in downtown locations where the parade has been traditionally held. The parade begins at Main and Locust Streets, just east of San Antonio College. It will continue past both Crockett Park and Madison Square Park before turning west onto N. St. Mary’s Street. Continuing on, the parade will turn onto Brooklyn Avenue before heading slightly north on Avenue E. Turning onto Alamo Street, the parade will pass by The Alamo and turn east onto Commerce Street where the parades will disband near Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.
“We are anticipating a very robust parade with over 195 entries with many fan favorites and new entries that will thrill parade participants,” stated Battle of Flowers Parade entries chair Luci Bell.
With some 9,000 parade participants including 2,000 members of area high school ROTC groups, 31 marching bands, 46 dazzling floats, giant balloons, precision equestrians, antique cars and carriages, military brigades and amusements around every corner, the 132nd Battle of Flowers Parade remains a gem in the Fiesta crown.
Battle of Flowers Parade History
The Battle of Flowers Parade was first held almost one hundred and twenty-nine years ago to honor the heroes of The Alamo and the Battle at San Jacinto where Texians, Tejanos and those from other nations who valued freedom fought to gain Texas’ independence.
The Battle of Flowers Association remains an educational and patriotic organization, committed to teaching the history of our State and keeping the traditions of San Antonio and Texas alive in the hearts and minds of its citizens.
San Antonio had a population of 38,000 according to the census of 1891 when the first “Flower Battle” parade was held. Well over 10,000 spectators lined Houston, St Mary’s, Main, Commerce and Alamo Streets to marvel as a parade of flower adorned carriages made its way to Alamo Plaza. The procession was divided - each going in opposite directions. In passing, the revelers pelted each other with fresh flowers that had been handpicked from gardens throughout San Antonio and surrounding communities because of the large quantity needed to stage such a spectacular event. When an hour had passed, the parade marshal gave the signal for the battle to end, and all withdrew.
As one of the oldest parades in the United States produced entirely by women, all of whom are volunteers, the Battle of Flowers Association has supported the educational, artistic, social and philanthropic achievements of their community’s youth with sponsorship of parade entries for area high schools, parade and band festival art contests, essay contests for area teens, collegiate oratorical competitions, band competitions, children’s charities parade watching celebrations and by affording nonprofit organizations the opportunity to raise funds for worthy causes with over 45,000 parade seats sold by charities along the parade route each year.
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