Growing up in San Antonio, Fiesta is a huge event. I guess its San Antonio’s version of Mardi Gras. Always in the month of April, for years it lasted for about two weeks mid month; this year, it’s for three weeks. I’m sure big Fiesta goers are totally stoked about that! Most festivities take place downtown; streets are closed, parking is more expensive and hard to find, and with more police out to make sure everyone parties safely, you may want to take a cab or get a ride to these events if you plan on getting your party on and enjoying all the cold adult beverages they sale at the booths. As they say, “Don’t drink & drive or drive to drink”. Plus if you end up behind bars or with a huge fine to pay, you’ll end up missing out on the festivities and out of drinking funds. (Check the Fiesta website to see if taxi cab vouchers are available). So many people gather downtown at these events and restrooms are very limited, sometimes hard to get to, pack with long lines, or really dirty. Being that most of the Fiesta events are close by each other and many streets will be closed, lots of walking will done that’s for sure. To avoid long lines at events that require a ticket to get into them, you may want to purchase your ticket in advance instead of at the door to avoid waiting for a long time. (And if you have to wait, don’t be a jerk, be patient! After all, everyone is there for the same reason…to have a good time!)
For more information and where you can purchase any Fiesta event tickets check out the Fiesta website. http://www.fiesta-sa.org. There are also many events that are more kid (and pet) friendly this year; you definitely don’t want your little ones to have beer spilled all over them as they’re walking through a crowd of festive adults. If you are one that is not a fan of crowded areas, Fiesta is NOT for you, just FYI. Here is a downloadable calendar of Fiesta events: FiestaEvents2014
To be able to enjoy yourself comfortably and safely, you may want to be prepared since more than likely you will not be near a drugstore if you need something. Here are some ideas of things to take with you if you plan on staying downtown from day till night to Fiesta away. Depending on your level of Fiesta-ing…some may need to carry around more items than others.
Fiesta Survival Tips:
- If you plan on partying for days in a row, if affordable, do book a hotel room downtown. I’ve done this before and it is so much more fun and easier to enjoy yourself! Since the cost of hotel rooms go up in price during Fiesta time, you may want to share it with friends. Most rooms have double beds and a pull out sofa bed anyway. And if you go this route, don’t forget your hotel key!
- Try not to wear your expensive bling (jewelry) downtown; you don’t want to attract anyone who has sticky fingers.
- Do not keep your expensive jewelry or electronic devices in your hotel room; you are better off leaving these items at home, unless there is a safe in your room.
- Tons of walking is unavoidable; don’t wear your highest stilettos, platform, or most uncomfortable yet cute shoes. You will kill your feet!
- Carry a bag or light back pack with you to carry things you may need. In my opinion, purses (especially expensive name brands ones) are a temptation for those that have sticky fingers. If you’re going with a group, maybe you all can share one bag for all your belongings and then take turns carrying it throughout the day/night.
- If your prone to getting blisters on your feet, whether you wear comfy shoes or not, be sure to bring along some Band-Aids.
- If your forecast mentions there are chances of rainstorms, take an umbrella with you…after all April showers bring May flowers and after last year’s crazy rainstorm…it could possibly happen again. An umbrella also comes in handy if you burn easily; sunny or overcast, those UV rays will burn your skin.
- You know you’ll be having quite a bit to drink…whether it’s an alcoholic beverage or not, if you’re one that “breaks the seal” easily and has to run to the potty as soon as they drink something, keep in mind you may not be near restrooms or port-o-potties; so unless you plan on finding a place to squat, keep that in mind when your chugging them drinks down.
- Carry your funds and your phone in your front pockets, when having a great time, the last thing you think of is someone picking your pockets.
- Be sure to take mainly cash and one credit/debit card for emergencies. Most food and ticket booths only accept cash. Why waste time searching for an atm machine and wasting money on fees to pulse your funds out.
- All day out in the sun or overcast weather can burn your skin; don’t forget to apply sunscreen (and reapply throughout the day) and a lip balm with spf.
- Ladies (and some gentleman), if you wear makeup, less is more. Not only will you be all runny mid day, but reapplying makeup over a sweaty, oily face is dirty and causes breakouts and will give you blackheads.
- If carrying a makeup bag, try not to carry cosmetics that will melt easily in heat. (Lipsticks, gel eye/lip liners, etc.)
- If you plan on buying souvenirs for family and friends, be sure to carry a bag with room to carry them. It’s no fun trying to carry your chicken on a stick, a beer, plus a bunch of shopping bags.
- If you’re a smoker, be courteous of others around you, you don’t want to burn anyone with your cigarette and some people are not fans of second hand smoke, especially if its a kid friendly event.
- Make sure your cellphone/smartphone is fully charged & carry an extra battery or a mobile battery charger since there will be no outlets to plug up your charger. You never know when you will get lost from your group and need to call someone. Plus, you know you have to check-in on Facebook, Twitter, or post a selfie on Instagram to let everyone know you’re eating a turkey leg and show off your stack of beer cups!
- Always carry your ID…yeah…sounds silly…but you would be amazed at how many people think they won’t get carded at the Fiesta booths. So don’t forget to put that in your pocket!
- Wherever you use the restroom (if you find one) keep in mind, thousands of people attend Fiesta, so thousands of germs will be all over every inch of every restroom. Take antibacterial gel/wipes and for sure take cleansing cloths or a nice size wad of toilet paper. Usually after the first couple of days of Fiesta there is none to be found in any restroom in the downtown area.
- Unless you are a professional photographer working with a media group, you really shouldn’t take your expensive camera equipment. You never know as you’re walking through the crowds someone may accidentally bump into you and spill beer on it or cause you to drop it. Your ruined equipment would pretty much ruin your Fiesta.
- Carry a bottle of water with you; it’s nice to keep hydrated while you spend your day consuming alcohol and you never know when you may need to rinse your hands.
- If you want to take your children and/or pets, be sure you find out if they are allowed at the event, dress them comfortably, keep them hydrated, and make sure you pack snacks/treats for them. (Some kids are picky and may not like Fiesta food).
- A small flashlight is good to add to your bag of goodies if you plan on Fiesta-ing at night; port-o-potties are dark and you never know when you’ll need a little light. Most smartphones have flashlight apps that you can download as well.
- Be festive! Support your local businesses and buy Fiesta medals, hair accessories, glow in dark stuff to wave around at the night parade, and maybe even a decorative hat (which can protect your face from getting sunburned during the day).
Lastly, if you know you have had a bit too much to drink, be smart and try not to be silly and approach police officers on duty, the last thing you need is for them to smell your beer breath and suspect you are above the legal alcohol consumption limit. They’re there to serve and protect, so keep that in mind.
And just FYI: If you have a hangover after too much partying at Fiesta; check out my blog on Hangover Remedies! (http://shinebeautifully.me/2014/02/09/hangover-remedies)
Hope some of these tips are useful, give you other ideas of things you would need to take along with you, and most of all, help you have a fun and festive Fiesta experience. Viva Fiesta San Antonio!
About the Author:
Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 19 years, & Owner of The Lil Spa Room. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully features beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, bullshit, & randomness to connect with her diverse readers. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe!