It’s Fiesta week in San Antonio! Who doesn’t love lots of parades, a gazillion special events, people breaking cascarones over each others’ heads, tons of food, crazy local royalty whizzing around town with police escorts, the music, just everything. It’s sometimes a problem though when Fiesta coincides with Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha. This year’s Fiesta started on Thursday, April 16th and will continue through Sunday, April 26th, so us local Orthodox Christians only missed out on a couple of days. A fast free Bright Week is perfect for Fiesta. In ten days, about 3.5 million people attend multiple events and generally the whole of San Antonio is affected to one degree or another. Working downtown, I’m right in the thick of it and I’m so glad!
However, one Fiesta event I absolutely detest and procrastinate about and wish could be killed forever, is the dreaded, headache-inducing, stress-filled FIESTA SHOE BOX FLOAT PARADE! If you’re a parent you know about this concept. Schools, preschools and daycare centers feel it must be a fun and educational experience for their children to participate in the local parade madness with their very own, customized, personally decorated, and themed shoe boxes to pull around the school in a mini-parade with strings, mount on little wheels, or pull around in mini wagons. Who makes the floats? Certainly not the kids.
My kids I have been making shoe box floats for Fiesta for 8 years. Every April I’m caught unaware because of the selective amnesia problem I’ve developed about this project. Fiesta celebrations have been happening around San Antonio since the first Battle of Flowers Parade in 1891, so you’d think I’d be prepared. When did I realize I had to make this year’s Fiesta float for my 7 year old? 6:30 am this morning as I cleaned out his backpack. When is the float due? Tomorrow morning. When am I going to run screaming into the street, babbling like an idiot, covered in confetti and gluey tissue paper? About 10:30 pm tonight. Watch the news tomorrow morning. It should be a pretty scary sight.