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2611 Broadway Street, San Antonio, TX 78215
Estimated attendance: 2,000,000
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The First Battle of Flowers
By 1890, San Antonio, Texas, was a thriving trade center with a population of 38,000. In 1891 a group of citizens decided to honor the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with a Battle of Flowers.
The first parade had horse-drawn carriages, bicycles decorated with fresh flowers, and floats carrying children dressed as flowers. The Belknap Rifles represented the military. The participants pelted each other with blossoms.
The Battle of Flowers Parade is the only one in the country to be planned and directed completely by women. Today it’s the largest parade in Fiesta. It’s second in size nationally only to the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Fiesta becomes a San Antonio Tradition
The Battle of Flowers was an immediate success. Within a few years, more events were taking place on or near April 21—a carnival, balls, and coronations of “royalty.” The Fiesta tradition had been born. Other early events included street dancing, children’s festivals, a Trades Display Parade, and an orphans party. Fiesta has taken place every year except for 1918 during World War I and 1942 through 1945.
Almost 20 years later, the Battle of Flowers Tradition continued with horse-drawn carriages decorated in locally-sourced flower blossoms. Today, the Battle of Flowers celebrates more than 125 years of tradition.
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