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One of the Country's Oldest Festivals

Some may find it hard to believe that a group throwing flowers at one another could grow into such a massive, multi-faceted spring celebration drawing crowds from all over Texas and beyond. But in 1891, when San Antonio was a bustling trade center of just under 40,000 people, some prominent ladies decided to hold a lavish flower parade to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the victorious Battle of San Jacinto, which won Texas' independence from Mexico on April 21, 1836.

Patterned after flower festivals in Mexico, France and Spain, the parade featured horses, carriages, bicycles and floats festooned with fresh flowers. Once the parade reached Alamo Plaza, it divided into two lines circling in opposite directions so participants could pelt one another with blooms and bouquets as they passed. The event was so successful that everyone decided to hold the Battle of Flowers Parade every year—and Fiesta was born.