Supporters of Fiesta must wait at least another two months for the multi-day celebration to return after the COVID-19 pandemic caused its cancelation in 2020.
The Fiesta San Antonio Commission and city of San Antonio announced Feb. 1 that Fiesta 2021 is rescheduled for June 17-27. But at least two signature parades and other individual events are waiting to return in 2022.
Commission and city officials said the Fiesta 2021 new dates enable authorities continue efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The new dates, officials added, also give Fiesta organizers time to ensure they have public health safety measures in place for participants, volunteers and attendees.
“Delaying Fiesta 2021 until June puts safety first, and it is the right move for our community,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a statement.
“Through the ongoing vaccination program and our continuing efforts to suppress COVID-19, we are working to be in a better position by June. We are deeply appreciative of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission’s willingness to work with the city’s health professionals to ensure San Antonians’ safety.”
The city, the commission and San Antonio Metropolitan Health all gained input from Dr. Martin “Marty” Makary, a health policy professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, in making a decision about Fiesta, which has been a staple among local springtime events since its inception.
The San Antonio area has recently experienced record highs in hospitalizations of COVID-19-positive patients, and a positivity rate hovering around 15%.
But Makary said, based current data on viral transmission, June is “projected to be a very low point in the viral prevalence in the area, given the high levels of natural and vaccinated immunity we will achieve by May.”
“The Fiesta San Antonio Commission and mayor’s office have appropriately prioritized safety in considering a modified Fiesta,” Makary added in a statement.
Fiesta San Antonio Commission President of the Baltazar (Walter) Serna said it had long been the commission’s goal to hold Fiesta this year with a number of safety protocols.
“We have been monitoring the science and data and believe postponing Fiesta until June is the correct thing to do, at this time,” Serna said in the statement. “Our No. 1 goal is to assure the safety of our attendees, volunteers, staff and community.”
The commission, however, acknowledged some Fiesta activities may decide to cancel their 2021 plans because those individual organizations have unique event operations and circumstances.
Planners for Fiesta Oyster Bake, a popular two-day event that attracts tens of thousands of people to St. Mary’s University, said in January that their 2021 event would be canceled.
The Battle of Flowers Parades and the Fiesta Flambeau Parades both are canceled outright. The Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association said on their Facebook page that people who had bought tickets for either/both parade(s) may request a refund starting Feb. 15, or turn their tickets into a tax-deductible donation to either association.
Texas Cavaliers, however, said they plan to hold their river parade June 21.
Brighton Center, organizer of Taste of the Northside, is consulting with its board members and event supporters regarding the possibility of hosting the Stone Oak event in June.
“There are many logistical challenges to consider with this date change and the organization wants to ensure that all benefits and risks of hosting the event in June are fairly considered,” said Katrina Campbell, Brighton’s chief development officer.
Southwest School of Art announced that its Fiesta Arts Fair will be delayed until 2022.
“This is a tough decision for us to make. The annual Fiesta Arts Fair Is an event that meets our mission and contributes to our ability to provide quality arts education for students of all ages at Southwest School of Art,” said Paula Owen, SSA president, in a statement.
“With arts funding already limited due to COVID, this will be a significant loss for our school. We looked at every possibility to hold our event in June, but it is just not feasible for us this year. We hope everyone will join us next year for the 2022 Fiesta Arts Fair, when we can celebrate again.”
Conservation Society of San Antonio officials said Night In Old San Antonio is being rescheduled to June 22-25, adding they will continue “monitoring the situation carefully and will follow the guidance of local and state health authorities in preparation for any future event dates.”
King William Association announced Feb. 2 that the King William Fair will not happen this year. Instead, the fair, which is accompanied by a parade, is scheduled to come back April 9, 2022.
“We will be in touch throughout the month of February 2021 with all of our vendors, volunteers, sponsors, contractors, parade participants, entertainers, neighbors, and community stakeholders to shift our energy and resources to plan a healthy and successful 2022 King William Fair,” the association stated on their Facebook page.
LOCAL will post more updates from other Fiesta event organizers as they come in.