Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
From the view of my balcony, I could see the preparation on Broadway Street prior to the Battle of Flowers, which was as choreographed as the twirling batons, trumpets, and drumsticks in the parade.
One week ago, tents started popping up under the expressway, many of them equipped with projectors and TVs streaming Spurs games as people camped out for the best spot to watch the parade.
Police meticulously rerouted traffic so crews setting up bleachers and chairs could work efficiently.
The smell of charcoal-roasted chicken began filling the air.
The energy in San Antonio was palpable, almost electric, with much of the city in preparation mode for Fiesta.
Having moved here in late 2016 to join the San Antonio Symphony, I’ve learned it is this energy that makes San Antonio special – the city comes together, winding 300 years of diverse culture into a nearly two-week-long Fiesta.
Though I’ve been here for more than a year-and-a-half, this is my first Fiesta. I was out of town last year – a mistake I will certainly not repeat. I live in an apartment with a fantastic view of lower Broadway Street and loved experiencing this year’s parades with my friends from the comfort of my balcony.
The aerial view of the floats, vintage cars, horses, marching bands, giant balloons – all representing different parts and people of San Antonio – is astounding and has made me feel more connected to this city. It’s an experience I won’t forget and cannot wait to be a part of year after year.
This past weekend, the Symphony collaborated with the Guadalupe Dance Company and the Campanas de America mariachi group on its Fiesta Pops concert series, creating was a musical celebration of San Antonio’s history and culture. To see how involved and excited the crowd was at our concerts was beyond inspiring.
Now that I’ve experienced Fiesta for the first time, I understand why people reacted incredulously when I told them I missed Fiesta last year.
Witnessing from a bird’s-eye view the hard work that goes into preparing the three-hour parade and the clean-up that follows immediately after its conclusion is ample proof that San Antonio is a wonderful community that knows how to party.