Fiesta San Antonio, the annual 11-day event that celebrates the history and culture of San Antonio, kicks off in just a few weeks on April 18 and ends on April 28. Today Mayor Julián Castro encouraged Fiesta-goers to think “green” by continuing the recent traditions of recycling, making healthier food choices and enjoying the parades that have been designated as smoke-free areas.
“Fiesta San Antonio is a beloved tradition that not only attracts local residents, but one that is known throughout the country and brings thousands of visitors to San Antonio each year,” said Mayor Castro. “For the past several years, the City of San Antonio takes pride in helping make this tradition a safe, healthy and enjoyable experience for all who participate.”
Fiesta San Antonio is also an opportunity to positively impact the health of residents and visitors through a citywide initiative to encourage participants to remain physically active while enjoying the festivities. Fiesta attendees are encouraged to utilize the city’s bike share program, San Antonio B-Cycle, to travel to and from downtown Fiesta events, and participate in various events that promote physical fitness.
“Fiesta is a time of celebration and is also a time for participants to recreate and enjoy the amenities that help promote physical fitness, such as utilizing the downtown bike share program to travel to and from Fiesta events and choosing healthier food options,” said City Manager Sheryl Sculley.
This also marks the second year that smoking will be prohibited in the areas that are in the public right of way along streets, sidewalks and the San Antonio River during three Fiesta parades – Texas Cavaliers’ River Parade, Fiesta Battle of Flowers Parade and Fiesta Flambeau Parade. Private property is excluded from the ban, however, voluntary compliance is encouraged. The smoking ban along Fiesta routes was initiated as a means to create a healthier Fiesta experience.
“A smoking ban along the Fiesta parade routes is a way to ensure that parade-goers enjoy the festivities in a safe and healthy environment,” said Jim Mery, Interim Director for the City’s Downtown Operations Department.
In addition to enjoying a healthier Fiesta atmosphere, Fiesta-revelers are also encouraged to think “green” by placing plastic, aluminum and paper items in recycling bins. Volunteers from the City of San Antonio staff will distribute yellow mesh recycling bags to parade-goers to collect recyclables, and will also have recycling and garbage containers stationed at most street intersections along parade routes for attendees to conveniently dispose of items.
Fiesta San Antonio is an annual tradition, more than 100 years old. It began with a small group of citizens in horse-drawn carriages and fresh flowers honoring the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Today, as one of San Antonio’s signature events, Fiesta San Antonio is an 11-day celebration attracting 3.5 million visitors each year and featuring 100 events that boast music, food, sports, pageantry, military and patriotic observances, exhibits, and parades.