About FIESTA FLAMBEAu
Millions of spectators who have watched it light the way through the final weekend of the feasting and frolicking of Fiesta San Antonio know it as the BEST of America’s parades. ‘Flambeau’ is a French word meaning a tall candlestick or burning torch. Participants in the Flambeau Parade have used both to give the cool Texas evening the appearance of being illuminated by thousands of stars. The idea of a lighted parade, now one of the premier events of Fiesta, was the brainchild of civil engineer Reynolds Andricks. Despite his insistence that he knew nothing about parades, he was elected to the Board of the Fiesta San Jacinto Association in 1948. His recollection of his first meeting: “I was astounded that so few people seemed interested in Fiesta. They didn’t think that they should add another parade.” He recommended that the ‘new’ parade take place at night and that it be called Fiesta Flambeau. The prospect of an evening parade was not entirely original. Andricks had enjoyed night parades as part of the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. He believed, however, that with help he could create an event as unique as San Antonio. In Fredericksburg, a German community in the Texas Hill Country west of San Antonio, lived William Petmecky. He had for years spent his working days as the tax assessor and then postmaster for Gillespie County. Over the course of half a century, his free time was spent as an active participant in county fairs. Petmecky began the famed Easter Fires Pageant in Fredericksburg, writing the script and a booklet describing the legend. He was widely recognized as a ‘FestivalImpresario’. By the time that Andricks was planning Fiesta Flambeau, Petmecky had become nationally known as a creator of folk festivals. He was delighted to be asked to help create Fiesta’s first illuminated night parade.
Today, the over 200 parade entries travel through beautiful and historic downtown San Antonio. It is viewed by over 750,000 street spectators along a 2.6-mile parade route. The syndicated parade is also broadcasted and live streamed to over 1.5 million viewers. The Fiesta Flambeau® Parade, has been named “Best” in our budget category, for two years, “Best in the World” by the International Festivals and Events Association, and in 2018 and 2019, “Best in Texas” in 2019 at the Texas Festivals and Events Association.
The Fiesta Flambeau® Parade is considered the premier event of the 11 days of Fiesta San Antonio.
A message from our president
Plans for the 2024 Fiesta Flambeau® Parade are underway. The Directors and the members of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade® Association are a dedicated group of volunteers who are working to produce America’s Largest Illuminated Night Parade. Join us and the City of San Antonio to celebrate most exciting 11 days of Fiesta beginning April 18, 2024 and on April 28, 2024 the country’s largest illuminated night parade – hope to see you there.
James Fenimore, President – Fiesta Flambeau® Parade Association, Inc.
Executive Board of Directors
Sebastian G. Elizondo
Public Relations Director
Efrain “Ram” Fernandez
Erwin De Luna
Immediate Past President