The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Avoid traffic, celebrate Fiesta close to home

San Jose Missionfest[2][1]
Photo courtesy of MissionFest

By Lorie Hidalgo

San Antonians can enjoy Fiesta events scattered around the South Side to avoid the heavy Downtown commotion.

South Side events include PACfest, San Jose Mission Festival, and the newly added Fiesta de Cascarones, hosted by Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

Fiesta commenced April 10 and concludes April 27.

Fiesta is a nonprofit self-supporting organization that intends to preserve Fiesta San Antonio through the support of organizations by coordinating a safe, educational, annual celebration of the diverse heritage of the city.

This year, Fiesta lasts 17 days to include official Fiesta events downtown and scattered throughout city venues.


PACfest, a free public Fiesta event, takes place 11 a.m.-9 p.m. April 24 at Palo Alto College’s central courtyard. Parking costs $5 for vehicles without a current Alamo Colleges parking permit.

Palo Alto began PACfest in 2004 as a non-alcoholic, family event. The annual festival features live music, food and beverage booths, and information booths.

According to the college’s website, about 50 student and community groups vendors will take part.

Activities include a children’s educational area, agricultural/nutritional areas, and a military display.

This year, PACfest introduces the first Fiesta Grilldown, a carne asada cook-off sponsored by H-E-B. The event takes place 5-6 p.m. and includes 10 teams of two people who compete for the grand prize: a First Place Fiesta Grilldown Trophy, two H-E-B gift cards, and four tickets to a San Antonio Missions Baseball game.

City Councilman District 4 Rey Saldaña, Univision’s Arantxa Loziaga and KXTN-FM’s Jonny Ramirez determine the winner of the contest.

 Entertainment featured this year includes:

  • Mariachi Palomino – 10:45 a.m

  • The Space Rockers – 11:30 a.m.

  • Third Root – 1:30 p.m.

  • Chris Boss and the Fuss – 3:30 p.m.

  • Sunny Sauceda – 5:30 p.m.

  • Michael Salgado – 7:30 p.m.

Erica Gonzaba, Miss Fiesta San Antonio 2005, will emcee.

Both the college and American Association of Retired Persons sponsor the event.

Palo Alto’s official Youtube channel features a video with more information.

MissionFest San Jose

Mission San Jose has participated in the Fiesta festivities for 13 years, held by the active parish of San Jose.

The event takes place 11 a.m.-11 p.m. April 27, the last day of Fiesta, on the grounds of Mission San Jose, 701 East Pyron.

Admission for the event costs $8 for those 18 and over and free for those 17 and under. Parking is free.

This year, the Mission announced their Grammy Winning entertainment along with expansion of the event.

The family friendly San Jose MissionFest includes music, a carnival, and over 40 arts and crafts and food booths.

Andrew Anguiano, marketing director for the festival, said the annual event brings in donations for the parish.

The entertainment begins at 12:15 p.m. and the parish encourages all those attending the event to bring their own chairs. Outside containers are not allowed.

Artists featured at this years event are:

  • Dwayne Verheyden

  • Amanda Cevallos

  • Bombasta

  • Del Castillo

  • La Santa Cecilia

  • Los TexManiacs with Rick Trevino and Augie Meyers

  • Max Baca

  • Gibby Escobedo

  • Jimmy Edwards & The Original Old School Breed

  • Roberto Pulido

  • Ram Herrera

  • David Lee Garza

Anguiano encourages the entire family to come out and enjoy the event for the featured food and music.

“Grandma will be happy and your little brother will enjoy it too,” Anguiano said.

Festival de Cascarones

Also held on the South Side this year is the Festival de Cascarones, hosted for the third year by Texas A&M-San Antonio and coordinated by the office of university communications.

The event takes place from 2 p.m.-7 p.m April 27 at the West Lawn at Main Campus. Admission and parking are free.

Fiesta officials from the Accreditation Fiesta Commission are attending the event to determine if the festival will advance as an official Fiesta event.

The event will feature 25 booths ranging from food, drinks and information booths. The community and alumni are encouraged to come out and celebrate the last day of Fiesta with the university.

Entertainment at the event includes:

  • The Mario Flores and the Soda Creek Band

  • The Spazmatics, an 80s cover band


The university will have a booth and information available for those interested in purchasing a commemorative brick to have placed at Main Campus Building.

Marilu Reyna, associate vice president for institutional advancement and university communications, expects 1,000 attendees.

For more information on PACfest, the Mission San Jose festival, Festival de Cascarones, and other Fiesta related events, follow the links.

About the Author

Lorie Hidalgo
Lorie Hidalgo
Lorie Hidalgo is a culture and sports writer for The Mesquite. She is a communications major with a passion for sports writing. Lorie attended both Northwest Vista and Palo Alto colleges. When attending Palo Alto, she was a writer for The Pulse, the online student newspaper. She received an A.A in New Media Communications from Northwest Vista in May 2013.

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