Fiesta Preparations

The Top Shelf

Fiesta San Antonio 2017 opens in a few days.  Final preparations for the numerous events are underway.  Beginning in the 1920s, photographers for the San Antonio Light and San Antonio Express-News newspapers routinely documented behind-the-scenes activities such as building parade floats, setting up booths, and performance practice sessions.  Usually these images were taken to advertise events.  But in some cases, photographs were taken to apprise readers of the tremendous work involved in staging the annual celebration.  Likewise, some of the photos were published as a tribute to certain individuals such as Minna Bel Oland, Cora Watson, and brothers Emile and Marcel Robin, who were involved in the preparation of Fiesta events for several decades.

These are some of the photographs showing pre-Fiesta activities, dating from the 1920s to 1990.

Velma Wolfe, seamstress at Southwestern Decorators, repairs tattered Fiesta flags and banners, April 1938.  (San Antonio Light Photograph Collection, MS 359: L-1778-N)

Minna Bel Oland…

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Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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