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Fiesta Flambeau: Photographs of the First Annual Illuminated Parade

April 15, 2013

Next week we observe the 65th anniversary of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade as an annual event during Fiesta San Antonio.  Over 700,000 spectators are expected to watch the floats, marching units, horseback riders, and musical groups pass along the downtown streets.   

 In early 1948, the Fiesta Association announced that a new parade would be added to the list of Fiesta events.  The addition was made in response to numerous requests from people who remembered the popular illuminated automobile parades held during Fiesta in 1911 and 1924.  Reynolds Andricks, parade chairman, found participants among various civic and social organizations, commercial establishments, and the military.  The parade would be called simply “Illuminated Night Parade” and serve as the Fiesta grand finale.  Over 100,000 spectators came that evening, insuring that it would be held again the following year.   With a growing list of participants, the Fiesta Association announced in 1951 that the night parade would have a new name:  Fiesta Flambeau.   

 These photographs are from The San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359).  They were taken on April 24, 1948 by Light staff photographer Robert Jean Osborne.  Special Collections also houses the San Antonio Light staff photographs of Fiesta Flambeau each subsequent year through 1992.

ROTC cadets carry torch sparklers to light the way for marchers.  (MS 359: L-3560-B-1)

ROTC cadets carry torch sparklers to light the way for marchers. (MS 359: L-3560-B-1)

Joske’s of Texas float featuring someone in a helicopter roping a Texas steer.  (MS 359:  L-3560-C-1)

Joske’s of Texas float featuring a helicopter pilot roping a Texas steer. (MS 359: L-3560-C-1)

Decorated convertibles going west on E. Houston Street.  (MS 359:  L-3560-D-3)

Decorated convertibles going west on E. Houston Street. (MS 359: L-3560-D-3)

Painting and Decorating Contractors of America float.  (MS 359:  L-3560-C-3)

Painting and Decorating Contractors of America float. (MS 359: L-3560-C-3)

Ferd Staffel Feed Company float.  (MS 359:  L-3560-C-5)

Ferd Staffel Feed Company float. (MS 359: L-3560-C-5)

Army and Air Force recruiting offices float with costumed soldiers representing the fighting men of 1776, 1836, and 1948.  (MS 359:  L-3560-C-6)

Army and Air Force float with costumed soldiers representing the fighting men of 1776, 1836, and 1948. (MS 359: L-3560-C-6)

Boysville entry with a miniature storm-tossed galleon.  (MS 359:  L-3560-C-4)

Boysville entry with a miniature storm-tossed galleon. (MS 359: L-3560-C-4)

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