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¡Viva la Fiesta!

 In Service Dog Training, Service Dogs, Training

How about an update from Paws for Purple Hearts San Antonio?! Our PPH San Antonio team recently finished celebrating another year of Fiesta! For those of you who may not know, Fiesta is a 10 day celebration that comes around once a year to honor and celebrate San Antonio’s rich and diverse history. Being a part of this community has allowed the PPH San Antonio team to take part in many of the events and festivities that revolve around Fiesta.

The History of Fiesta

A little bit of history, Fiesta takes place each April to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, celebrating the diverse heritage, culture and spirit that make up the city of San Antonio. It’s a city-wide phenomenon, with events happening all over town.

Fiesta is not only known as one of the country’s biggest festivals, but it is also one of the oldest festivals. It began over 100 years ago with a parade to honor those who lost their lives at the Battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. That parade is known as the Battle of the Flowers, and is still one of the cornerstone events at Fiesta. Other events include authentic Mexican rodeos, historical celebrations, art exhibits, masquerade parties and a gala formal ball, military displays and carnival rides.

Sweet Linda is posing with her very first Fiesta medal!
Sweet Linda is posing with her very first Fiesta medal!

Community Coming Together

Because Fiesta goes on for 10 full days, it takes the whole city to come together to make this celebration a success. Businesses, organizations, and MANY volunteers from all over the city help and host events to celebrate the rich culture and history of San Antonio. From the Fiesta Oyster Bake to the Battle of the Flowers Parade, there are so many events and activities to take part in during Fiesta. Our San Antonio team even had the opportunity to visit both Northwest Vista College and the University of Texas at San Antonio main campus to provide resources and volunteer opportunities to the military-affiliated students who attend those schools.

The highlight event for the San Antonio team was the Fiesta Pooch Parade hosted by Therapy Animals of San Antonio. This is the second year PPH San Antonio was able to take part in this event, and the first one to ever have their very own Fiesta medals! These medals are one-of-a-kind, featuring Service Dog-In-Training Cavender! These medals were also sponsored by our community partner, Cavender Cares, and given out to the community!

The Origin of the Fiesta Medal

According to fiestamedal.net, the tradition of the Fiesta medal began in 1946 when the reigning King Antonio distributed coins to the local children. King Antonio is a figure elected by the Texas Cavaliers to represent the organization during the parade.

Soon after, coin-tossing became a tradition and children decorated their coin-purses and tied them around their necks during the march. The tradition grew in 1971 thanks to a man named Charles G. Orsinger. Orsinger was a prominent member of the San Antonio community, known for his military service and Buick dealership. During his reign as King Antonio, he collected coins from the children and punched holes in the middle. This led to the creation of the Fiesta medal.

We are so thrilled to have had the opportunity to take part in this tradition and have our first (and certainly not last!) Fiesta medal! Be on the lookout for next year’s Fiesta season and for our 2024 Fiesta medals!

PPH San Antonio’s first ever Fiesta medal!
PPH San Antonio’s first ever Fiesta medal!

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