All the winners of the City-Wide Fiesta Porch Parade in San Antonio, where they turned their homes into Fiesta parade floats


Thelma and Robert Reyes missed the Fiesta terribly when it was canceled last year due to COVID-19. And they were saddened when he was moved from his usual time slot in April of this year to June as the pandemic persisted.

So when they heard about the very first city-wide Fiesta Porch Parade, they rushed to turn their South Side home into a parade “float”.

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“We entered the Best Memory category,” said Thelma, who was still buzzing days after learning their house had won the grand prize for best in the competition, co-sponsored by a Battle of the Flowers partnership and Fiesta Flambeau associations.

She said she came up with the concept, which recreates a quintessentially Fiesta event, with food stalls and models dressed in their finest Fiesta attire, while Robert provided the elbow grease to make it happen.

After the cancellation of two street parades this year, organizers borrowed the idea of ​​the porch parade from the city of New Orleans which, in response to the cancellation of Mardi Gras in February, put owners at challenge to decorate their yards and porches in Mardi Gras style, transforming them into glittering and glorious house floats.

The event was organized by a committee made up of members of both parade associations and participants were judged on the creativity of their decorations. Winners received cash prizes, overnight stays at Hotel Estancia Del Norte, dinner for two at the hotel restaurant, Amols’ Party & Fiesta Favors gift certificates and more.

The idea was already copied in April by residents of the King William neighborhoods and surrounding areas when the King William Fair Parade was canceled, as well as in other cities including Mobile, Alabama and Galveston.

This newer porch parade was truly a citywide affair, with over 100 homes, businesses, and schools entering from across town to compete for cash prizes as well as hotel stays, dinners. , gift certificates and gift baskets.

Parade officials say they are satisfied with the response to this very first event – and that it may not be a one-size-fits-all deal.

“The excitement it generated, especially after the pandemic was really worth it,” said Melissa Branch, president of Battle of Flowers Parade. “We still have to revisit things, but personally I have to say that I am enthusiastically optimistic that this could become a regular Fiesta event.”

Here are this year’s winners:

Grand prize winner, 134 boul. E. Villaret. Thelma and Robert Reyes in front of their house

Thelma and Robert Reyes

Grand Prize: If there’s a need to move the Fiesta, organizers can put it in Thelma and Robert Reyes’ front yard, which is full of food and drink stalls, mariachi cutouts playing music, and vans heading towards the parades, decorated mannequins, flags, papel picados, signs saying “It’s party time”, “God Bless America” and much more.

“The Fiesta has always been important to us,” said Thelma. “The parades are in our family, since we both marched when Robert was on the exercise team at Harlandale High School and I was on the cheer team.”

She said that while it took them three days to install the decorations, it took them two weeks to come up with the idea itself.

“We do this because we love to bring joy and happiness to the neighborhood,” she said, adding that the prizes, including $ 1,000 in cash and a package valued at over 1,500 $, are “incredible”.

Location: 134 E. Villaret, near SW 410 and Pleasanton Road. Still showing.

Best Holiday Memory, 526 Clovis Place

Best Holiday Memory, 526 Clovis Place

William Luther / Personal Photographer

Best holiday memory: There is hardly a memory of Fiesta that goes unnoticed on Mary Montez’s lawn. You can practically smell the chicken stick stand, the house is decorated with paper flowers, there are mariachis and, of course, a sign urging, “Show us your shoes!” “

And you can’t miss the 12-foot skeleton, nicknamed Bones, looking all the way from the top of the second-story balcony.

“We always go to parades as a family, so we have a lot of Fiesta memories to choose from,” Montez said. “And we’ve been decorating our home for as long as we’ve lived here, so we already had most of the decorations we needed.”

Location: 526 Place Clovis, in the Harlandale district. Still showing.

Most Puro San Antonio, 427 Koehler

Most Puro San Antonio, 427 Koehler

William Luther / Personal Photographer

Most Puro San Antonio: David Aleman has a passion for his hometown and community, his granddaughter said, so he decorated his home to represent that special style known as “puro San Antonio”.

It would be hard to think of a Fiesta San Antonio icon that is not included in Aleman’s decorations, picados papel, sombreros, guitars and serapes with colorful chains and mariachis, all surrounding a huge crown. of Fiesta flowers hanging on the front door.

“We’ve really missed not having Fiesta for the past two years,” said Aleman.

Location: 427 Koehler Court, near Hot Wells Blvd., and S. New Braunfels Ave. Always exposed.

Best Use of Color, 527 Tara Drive

Best Use of Color, 527 Tara Drive

Cristina Davila

Best use of color: Artist Cristina Davila recently started her own handmade Fiesta decorations business. So she took what she had to create a bright and vibrant front yard filled with oversized piñatas, burros, flowers, cascarones, and cacti, all in hot pink, bright orange, lime green, and sunshine yellow.

Long, thick curtains of colorful fabric that she cut into strips of plastic tablecloths hang over the porch, framing the whole thing.

“San Antonio is a bright and colorful city, and I wanted my home to reflect that,” she said. “I was especially happy to see that once I started decorating, my neighbors also started decorating their homes. “

Location: 527 Tara Drive, near San Pedro and Loop 410. Always on display.

Best Use of Lights, 16423 Ledge Park

Best Use of Lights, 16423 Ledge Park

Kasey Wiggins

Best use of lights: Kasey Wiggins, who describes herself as an artisan, was inspired by both the Battle of the Flowers and the Fiesta Flambeau parades in a way that comes to life after the sun goes down.

Almost everything in his yard, including the piñata-like windows, flowers, and two huge skulls flanking the front door, has been painted in fluorescent colors that eerily glow under rippling black lights.

“Especially at night I get a lot of people walking by very slowly to look at the decorations,” she said.

The victory was somewhat bittersweet for Wiggins, who chose the theme “Somewhere Klover the Rainbow” to commemorate the baby she recently lost and planned to name Klover. “It’s a sad time for me, but decorating for the Fiesta helped me get through it,” she said.

Location: 16423 Ledge Park, near US 281 and Thousand Oaks. No longer fully exposed.

Best Company, Salon Angelo De Carlo, 711 S. Presa

Best Company, Salon Angelo De Carlo, 711 S. Presa

William Luther / Personal Photographer

Best school: Dolph Briscoe College. Students at this Northside ISD school combined the theme of last year’s school ‘reunion’ with recreations of the long trains in dresses worn by the queens of the Fiesta. In addition to the decorated trains hanging in the main entrance of the school, the 20 or so students involved dressed a mannequin in a Fiesta outfit, crafted oversized medals and created a colorful panel filled with fabric flowers that read “Fiesta”.

“It was a good experience because about 30 percent of our students are related to the military, so many of them had no idea what Fiesta even is,” Principal Christina Rather said. “It has helped them bond with our other students who have attended Fiesta events for years.”

The school plans to use the $ 5,000 prize it receives to make its covered patio more inviting with furniture and other items so students can practice on it when the weather is nice.

Location: 4265 Lone Star Parkway near Loop 1604 and Alamo Parkway. No longer exposed.

Best School, Dolph Briscoe Middle School, 4265 Lone Star Parkway

Best School, Dolph Briscoe Middle School, 4265 Lone Star Parkway

Dolph Briscoe College

Best company: 711 S. Presa St. Lavaca Angeline De Carlo Salon hair salon, is very community driven, participating in the King William Parade and various fashion shows around town. So when owner Mary Alice Medina and her staff heard about the Porch Parade, they went out of their way to represent it.

The lawn of their modest building is occupied by several cheerfully dressed models who appear to be about to attend a parade. This includes a cheeky copy of Bernie Sanders wearing a face mask during the presidential nomination, except he’s wrapped in a colorful serape and there’s a large margarita on a table next to him.

“We really missed the Fiesta,” said Medina. “But the porch parade is something different and exciting. Something the whole city can participate in.

Location: 711 S. Presa Street, in the Lavaca district. Still showing.

[email protected] | Twitter: @RichardMarini


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