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The Leyva Collection - Fiesta San Antonio

Irene Leyva

Silent | 1970s

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  •  A marching band parades by the historic Emily Morgan Hotel, formally used as a Medical Arts Building until 1976. The building then became a modern office space, and finally a hotel in 1984.  
  •  The Leyva family sits in the crowd 
  •  Students of the John F. Kennedy High School display their banner 
  •  Vibrant piñatas adorn a street market 
  •  Young dancers in traditional Mexican apparel perform in front of an audience 
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This 1970s home movie includes footage of Fiesta San Antonio, a 10-day festival held every spring to commemorate the Texas Revolution and Independence from Mexico in 1836. The festival includes numerous events and activities, some of which are captured in the footage. The majority of the film focuses on a performance by young men and women. A crowd watches as the entertainers, dressed in traditional Mexican garments, dance solo and with partners.
Fiesta San Antonio is an annual event that celebrates the heroes of the Texas Revolution and San Antonio's local culture. Fiesta began as a one-day event with the first Battle of Flowers Parade in 1891. The Battle of Flowers parade includes elaborate floats and an actual battle of flowers. Participants throw blossoms in lieu of ammunition, in front of the Alamo. The parade is held in honor of the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, held on or during the week of April 21, the day Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836. Fiesta San Antonio grew to include balls, parties, a carnival, and a coronation - crowning a queen, a princess, 24 duchesses, and King Antonio. It eventually evolved into its present, 10-day celebration that features over 100 events, including three major parades, one of which takes place on the San Antonio River Walk where the floats actually "float." Fiesta San Antonio's festivities have come to celebrate not only the Texas Revolution, but also San Antonio's rich, diverse culture and heritage.