Thursday, May 30, 2024

UTSA taking part in the Fiesta fun that begins today

UTSA taking part in the Fiesta fun that begins today

APRIL 20, 2023 — Each April, the City of San Antonio comes together in merriment for Fiesta, a series of parties, parades, concerts and countless other festivities that raise money for local nonprofits and charitable organizations. What started in 1891 with a parade to honor the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of Jacinto has evolved into a vibrant citywide celebration that draws thousands to San Antonio.

And today marks the first day of this year’s festivities.

UTSA joins the rest of the Alamo City in embracing this party with a purpose, providing multiple opportunities for the Roadrunner community to join in the fun. Several official Fiesta San Antonio events will be hosted by UTSA or held at one of UTSA’s five campuses. Many Roadrunners will also be participating in Fiesta’s long-standing parades.

From medals to flower crowns, a group of students are decked out in their Fiesta gear at Dia en la Sombrilla.

Here’s a look at UTSA’s lineup of official Fiesta events taking place from now to April 29:


Día en la Sombrilla
Friday, April 21 • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
UTSA Main Campus, Sombrilla and Central Plazas

Revel in the aroma of fried foods and the sights of colorful cascarones at Día en la Sombrilla, one of the university’s oldest and largest annual celebrations. Formerly known as Fiesta UTSA, this free, family-friendly event is hosted by Roadrunner Productions. Día en la Sombrilla will feature live entertainment in addition to more than 50 food, drink and game booths sponsored by student organizations raising money for next year’s activities.

UTSA Fiesta Arts Fair
Saturday, April 22 • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday April 23 • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
UTSA Southwest Campus

The Fiesta Arts Fair will feature contemporary art from more than 100 artists from across the U.S., Fiesta favorite foods, drinks, live music by local and regional performers, and a Young Artists Garden providing opportunities for budding artists to learn, explore and express their creativity. The annual art-focused fundraising celebration provides operating support for UTSA Arts, which is dedicated to community arts education, public performances and exhibitions, and arts-based research and partnerships to enhance the public’s accessibility of the arts.

Fiesta Tech Trek
Tuesday, April 25 • 5 to 8 p.m.
San Antonio Tech District (along Houston Street)

San Pedro I is the new world-class facility that houses the UTSA School of Data Science, the first school of its kind in Texas, and the National Security Collaboration Center, Texas’ largest hub for government, university and industry partners in national security. Having made its debut in January, San Pedro I is now an official stop on this year’s Tech Trek, Fiesta’s celebration of entrepreneurship and technology. Tech Trek guests will walk along Houston St. to get an inside look at the San Antonio Tech District’s coolest collaborators and some of the latest innovations from around the city. San Pedro I is a spot where trekkers can register for the walk and enjoy exhibits from several government and industry partners highlighting the NSCC’s collaborative ecosystem. The event is free and open to the public.


A UTSA student has been honored as Fiesta royalty this year. Senior Erica McFarland, a mechanical engineering major, 2021-2022 Spirit of the Roadrunner recipient and McNair Scholar, was named Queen of Soul for the 2023 Fiesta festivities. The queen and her court provide representation for the African-American community at Fiesta and various other civic activities throughout the year. Their scholarships also help emphasize the importance of higher education and aid motivated young women in attaining their academic goals. As the new Queen of Soul, McFarland will be prominently featured in the upcoming traditional Fiesta parades.

Here are some other Roadrunners you’ll find on the parade routes:

Texas Cavaliers River Parade
Monday, April 24 • 7 to 9 p.m.
San Antonio River (
view parade route here)

Lighting up the San Antonio River for nearly eight decades during Fiesta, the Texas Cavaliers River Parade has been supporting local children’s charities since 1989. UTSA’s float in the renowned river parade will feature Spirit of the Roadrunner winners Ene Jon-Mark and Jacksarn Mann alongside several UTSA leaders and student representatives from the Student Government Association, Roadrunner Productions, Rowdy Crew and VOICES.

Battle of Flowers Parade
Friday, April 28 • Vanguard at 8:55 a.m.; Parade at 9:30 a.m.
Downtown San Antonio (
view parade route here)

The Battle of Flowers Parade is the founding event of Fiesta and the only parade in the United States produced entirely by women, all of whom are volunteers. The 132nd edition of the Battle of Flowers will feature UTSA head football coach Jeff Traylor as the Grand Marshal, an honor the coach earned at a celebratory ceremony in February. The parade will also feature a performance by UTSA’s Spirit of San Antonio marching band and appearances by UTSA student leaders.

Fiesta Flambeau Parade
Saturday, April 29 • 7:15 to 11:30 p.m.
Downtown San Antonio (view parade route here)

One of the premier events of Fiesta, the Fiesta Flambeau Parade is internationally known as “America’s Largest Illuminated Night Parade.” Jon-Mark and Mann will be joining the festivities in addition to many UTSA student leaders and administrators.

Shea Conner

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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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