My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Mardi Gras, San Antonio Style

6 Comments

Last weekend, my good friend AB showed me a picture of her sister-in-law in a stunning gown with an insanely-embroidered-and-beaded train. She told me the photo was part of the royal court at the annual Fiesta San Antonio event.

Since the late 1800s, the Texas city of San Antonio has been celebrating their own version of mardi gras, known as Fiesta. In the early days of the festival, local women would decorate carriages, bicycles, and mini-floats with live blooms, all featuring small children dressed as flowers. The costumed women then gathered in front of the Alamo and participated in the Battle of Flowers, good-naturedly pelting each other with the blooms. Eventually, the annual event was expanded to include a royal court and coronation, parades (including a boat parade along the San Antonio River), balls, and a carnival.

Since 1909, the Order of the Alamo has been in charge of the royal court, which includes a queen, a princess and 24 duchesses. The court is meant to be split evenly between San Antonio residents and young women from other towns. It’s the royal court dresses that I want to explore today. AB told me they are heavily beaded and sequined, and can weigh upward of 100 lbs each. These are some very strong young women!

You can learn more about the Fiesta San Antonio on the event’s website and on Instagram.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

6 thoughts on “Mardi Gras, San Antonio Style

  1. Wish I could see them in person. Outstanding work. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My cousin’s children are into this in South Mississippi. I guess everyplace in the South has their own version. Beautiful work but my fingers hurt thinking of all those beads being hand sewn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People say that the City of San Antonio will throw a party at the drop of a hat. “Fiesta San Antonio” is a multi-faceted celebration to honor the heroes of the Alamo, Goliad and the Battle of San Jacinto, i.e., the heroes of what we call the Texas War of Independence (from Mexico). Your description above of the origin of the Battle of Flowers Parade is perfect! The work on the beaded dresses is indeed reminiscent of some of the clothing of Mardi Gras, especially the Mardi Gras Beaded Indian Maskings, as the design work takes place a couple of years in advance and the dresses take at least 6 months to produce. Some of the Fiesta dresses are on display at the Witte Museum in San Antonio and last year at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort. Let me know when you are ready to FIESTA, I will join you!

    Liked by 1 person

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