FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Fort Sam Houston joined in on the city-wide 10-day Fiesta festivities April 20 by opening its gates to the San Antonio community for a Fiesta celebration of its own.

People came in droves to enjoy the Fort Sam Houston Fiesta and Fireworks celebration, a day-long festival that sprawled across the field between Dickman and Wilson roads and culminated in a fireworks extravaganza.

For children and the young at heart, the event featured a country fair with carnival games and rides, pony rides, bouncy castles, and dozens of craft and food vendors.
"We're having a great time," said Leslie Johnson, while waiting for her son, d'Artagnan, to descend a rock-climbing wall, which was set up and run by the San Antonio Recruiting Battalion. "This is a great event."

While some preferred to rock-climb or ride a mechanical bull, others were drawn in by the interactive military exhibits. U.S. Army South demonstrated riot control then let people try on the gear, Fort Sam Houston firefighters opened up a fire truck for display, and the Army Medical Department Center and School's operating room technician course set up a tent for people to try their hand at surgery.

People seeking a more traditional military flair enjoyed an evening ceremony with Army elite ceremonial units to include the U.S. Army Drill Team, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the Continental Color Guard. Audience members were also treated to the sight of more than 300 Soldiers from the Army Medical Department Center and School taking part in a "Pass in Review," a traditional ceremony where Soldiers exhibit their military bearing for their leaders. Music lovers enjoyed a variety of music and entertainment that ranged from Latin and mariachi groups to belly dancers and other dance performances.

Even San Antonio Fiesta "royalty," to include El Rey Feo LX and King Antonio LXXXVI, were on hand to enjoy the celebration. After the military ceremony, they thanked Fort Sam Houston leaders for their hospitality to the community and Fiesta spirit during an awards ceremony in the historic Quadrangle.

The day concluded at 9 p.m. with a spectacular fireworks display for thousands of people lying on lawn chairs and blankets on the field. Fiesta San Antonio is a 10-day celebration with more than 100 events that takes place every April. The festivities honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto and celebrate San Antonio's rich and diverse cultures.

Fort Sam Houston has been celebrating Fiesta with San Antonio since 1891 as an opportunity to showcase its military traditions and thank the community for its year-round support.

"Through the years, since 1845 when the Army arrived in San Antonio, our Fort Sam Houston community has always enjoyed a warm and prosperous relationship with the San Antonio community," said Installation Commander Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw. "We are fortunate and proud of the many distinct partnerships and friendships fostered through the unique spirit of Fiesta." (Elaine Wilson works for the Public Information Office at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16