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Fiesta 101: What you need to know about this year’s scaled-back celebration

The 11-day celebration of the culture and history of San Antonio is going to look a little different this year.

SAN ANTONIO — They say everything is bigger and better in Texas

The Lone Star State is known for Austin City Limits, Rodeo Houston, the State Fair of Texas and Wurstfest. But, there’s one time of year when San Antonio really stands out. 

You might have heard of it; it’s called Fiesta.  

People in the Alamo City call it “the party with a purpose” because the money raised is crucial to numerous local charities. But, the 11-day celebration of the culture and history of San Antonio is going to look a little different this year. 

Especially without the two largest parades. 

Normally, tens of thousands of people would be lining city streets for the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, one of the largest illuminated light parades in the country. And the Battle of Flowers parade, which honors the battle of San Jacinto in 1836. 

But this year, the covid-friendly version of Fiesta is still going to feature the Texas Cavaliers River Parade. It’s one of the few parades in the nation where the floats really do float. 

Thousands of people come to watch the event annually. In 2021, organizers are asking parade-goers to follow social-distancing guidelines while enjoying the fun.

The whole festival kicks off with "Fiesta Fiesta," at Hemisfair Park in the shadow of the Tower of the Americas. There is a little something for everyone, from live music to food to family-friendly fun. Masks will be required this year as well as social distancing. 

And you can’t have Fiesta without a "Night in Old San Antonio," better known as NIOSA.  

The event will be somewhat smaller this year, but the organization still plans to have more than 160 food, drink and cultural booths with nine stages of entertainment.  

It will be limited capacity using electronic tickets, and those who aren’t fully vaccinated are asked to wear masks. 

Even with some of the popular events on hold, 50% of Fiesta’s member organizations are still planning on participating in the 11-day event, running from June 17-27. 

So, if you want a Night in Old San Antonio, views of the parades or you want to stake out your own Fiesta adventure at one of the dozens of other events, click here for more details.

And Fiesta is just one of the great places you can go in Texas this summer. Check out our Road Trip Texas guide for day trips around the state here.

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