Fiesta San Antonio: Time to throw off “the musty garb of dignity”

Her Gracious Majesty, Mayme, of the House of Story, Queen of the Court of Spring

Her Gracious Majesty, Mayme, of the House of Storey, Queen of the Court of Spring, 1913

Within the sacred shadow of the Alamo, flaunting their gaily colored banners beneath the beguiling front of San Fernando, or trespassing jauntily upon the public thoroughfares about the city hall and the market house, the canvas palaces have claimed the right of “Eminent Domain” in the name of the mighty monarch, King Rex. Once more the hobby-horse, the Ferris wheel and the steam calliope are bidding the staid and sober citizen to yield to the importunities of his “youngest” to throw off for a little the musty garb of dignity….

The San Antonio Light, April 21, 1913, page 5

Fiesta madness is seizing the city and will control it throughout the week to come.

One-hundred years ago it did the same. I hoped, before discarding any dignity I might have remaining (questionable indeed), to round up a story of the events of a century ago from the Mythological Parade led by King Rex to the Burlesque night parade, “the funniest parade of the week, with a suffragette band in line.” The accounts throughout the week are quite entertaining to read, but, alas, I have not time to summarize.

I would recommend if you missed it last year, that you refer to my post from then to get a glimpse of the historical festive pageantry. If short on time, skim to the bottom for the hysterical newspaper description of the mayhem erupting during the first Battle of Flowers Parade – details not reported, or purposefully ignored, in the official history on the official Battle of Flowers website.

While trying to avoid delving into details from Fiesta San Jacinto 1913, the names of two of the Mister’s relatives leapt off the page, crying out for me to notice. One of his grand uncles on his paternal side, Willard Eastman Simpson (1883-1967), designed the elaborate scenery for the coronation ceremonies for the Court of Spring, and one of his grand uncles on his maternal side, Lucius Mirabeau Lamar, III (1898-1978), appeared as one of the “men from Mars” in the opening Fiesta Fete operetta, Much Ado.

Hope you fling yourself into Fiesta with wild abandon.

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