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Fiesta San Antonio is the perfect expression for a culturally distinctive city

Patti Nickell, Tribune News Service on

Published in Travel News

The food is superb -- all local and within a tight radius of the city. What's remarkable, however, is that in the fishbowl of a kitchen (it's both tiny and visible to a portion of the dining room), there are no electrical gadgets. The kitchen staff is devoted to preparing food as they did in the 1850s, pre-kitchen technology.

Try the seven-course tasting menu with carefully curated wine pairings, which my friend and I would have done at another time. We had to "settle" for an abbreviated menu as we were dining here before the Fiesta grand finale, the Flambeau Parade.

This year's theme was "Reflections of Music Past" and the beautifully illuminated floats were worthy of the estimated 750,000 spectators along the 2.6-mile parade route, as well as another 1.5 million watching it on their television sets.

One musical reflection that was definitely not from the past -- the University of Texas Longhorn Band -- got the loudest ovation from the crowd. In their spiffy burnt orange and white uniforms, the high-stepping band kicked off the parade just as it has for the past 71 years.

Fiesta is a perfect expression of the color and pageantry of this culturally distinctive city, as unique to San Antonio as Mardi Gras is to New Orleans. So, join in the revelry and add your voice to the chant heard throughout the city -- "Viva Fiesta!"



Where to stay: Hotel Valencia. Conveniently located on the Riverwalk, it has a distinctive Mexican design, especially on the third-floor terrace, a great spot for a nightcap.

FYI: Dates for the 2020 Fiesta are April 16-26. Contact for more information.

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