What this city needs is another good King and Queen. Fiesta, April 10-27 this year, is growing longer, so why not add some new blood to the local royalty pool? You can’t have too many pretenders.
Centro San Antonio is calling all contestants who would like to be invested as the first-ever King or Queen of Downtown. Don’t be bashful. You can nominate yourself. Just pay the $50 registration fee by Friday, 5 p.m., February 14, and get ready to fundraise. All proceeds will benefit Centro’s educational programming and downtown initiatives. Centro will publish an online ballot of contestants by Feb. 17. Fundraising will go one month, from Feb. 21-March 21. Supporters will be able to go to the Centro website and pledge funds for the candidates of their choice.
Better clear your application with the boss, too. Fiesta will go for more than two weeks this year. That’s a lot of parties, parades and personal appearances for a king or queen. And don’t forget to get permission to use company social media to raise funds.
“It’s the ‘Decade of Downtown’ and it’s the perfect time to crown downtown royalty and join in the fun of our city’s annual celebration,” said Pat DGiovanni, Centro SA CEO. “It’s also another way to celebrate men and women who live, work and play downtown, and who share our passion and love for the heart of our city. In the end, it’s about doing something that we think is going to be fun!”
Oh, by the way, you won’t be official Fiesta royalty, at least not this first year.
The Old Model: Traditional Royalty Costs $$$
There are now 100 or more organizations that organize and manage one or more Fiesta events, and that includes a sometimes confusing array of kings, queens, princesses and duchesses, not to mention courtesans, in the traditional sense of the word.
Many details surrounding the new downtown royalty are still to be released, but if Centro is thinking traditionally, the trappings of traditional royalty will not come cheap. We say reject this model:
1A. New vehicles provided courtesy of area automobile dealers, with police escorts to and from visits to area classrooms filled with confused but excited school children who will be thinking they already met the King and Queen … because they did.
1B. Custom-designed parade float for the Battle of Flowers parade on Friday, April 25, and the Fiesta Flambeau Parade on Saturday evening, April 26.
1C. Decorated barge for the Texas Cavaliers’ River Parade on Monday, April 21.
2. Quality crowns and sashes. Custom-tailored outfits for you and your court.
3. Court followers who hold doors, drive vehicles, carry cell phones, enter public rooms first with pomp and circumstance to announce your presence, and otherwise help lend an air of entitlement and importance to your investiture.
4. Commemorative medals. Traditional royalty bestow high quality, enameled medals on friends, family and movers and shakers. They toss around cheap tin versions for the little people encountered on the street and elsewhere.
5. Entree to the otherwise closed parties thrown by socially exclusive organizations like the German Club, the Order of the Alamo and the Texas Cavaliers.
The New Model: Centro, Please #bedowntown About It
Centro should forego the traditional trappings of Fiesta. Things are ridiculous enough already. Some new ideas to consider, with readers invited to suggest their own suggested activities for newly-minted downtown Fiesta royalty:
1. The King and Queen of Downtown should ride bikes in the two big parades down Broadway, and to and from events like Corynation with their loyal retainers riding in front and behind.
2. How about an all-foot, no carbon fuel vehicle parade on the Musem Reach, along the River Walk and down to the Mission Reach? Let onlookers cheer the Centro Amigos and Ambassadors, resplendent in gold and purple. Spectators would be encouraged to jump in and become part of the parade.
3. New cocktails named in honor of the King and Queen of Downtown will be created by some of the city’s leading bartenders. Judges will select winners that will be deemed instant classics. After drinks, the King and Queen of Downtown will be seated in the front row of the Charline McCombs Empire Theater for opening night at Cornyation.
4. First Friday, the Pearl Farmer’s Market and the King William Fair are where you’ll find the downtown royalty, mixing comfortably with the masses.
5. My fantasy: A midnight bike parade down Broadway led by the new King and Queen of Downtown. Police would need to close the street on one side for only one hour. A few late-night bars and restaurants would be encouraged to stay open for parade-goers. Prizes to the best costumes.
We’ll provide readers with our own brief history of all the other Fiesta royalty as the big party draws closer. For now, let’s get this new King and Queen of Downtown thing going and let’s inject Fiesta with a big shot of #bedowntown fun.