On the last day of Fiesta, locals can skip the downtown crowds to celebrate in their own neighborhood at the Festival de Cascarones at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
The free event is 1-8 p.m. April 28.
Spread across the campus, the festival will include funnel cake, fruit cups, paletas and fried foods galore, along with kid-friendly activities, games, live music and even a showing of the movie, “Black Panther.”
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to invite the public to our beautiful campus. This campus is growing and thriving and it’s gorgeous,” said Brandon Oliver, co-chair and creative design manager of the festival and other campus events.
He has helped organize the event since it began eight years ago.
“The festival was originally conceived because it was a way to make money for student organizations,” Oliver said.
About 26 student organizations will participate in the festival. The men’s soccer club will return to the festival with a booth this year. They will sell watermelon limeade slushies at varying prices and Fiesta-themed team T-shirts for $20.
The soccer club’s booth will have two different ways people can enjoy their drink: in a regular cup for themselves that will cost $7 or in a personal watermelon for up to three people that will cost $15. The club is raising funds to buy new uniforms.
Attendees will enjoy free parking and free admission to the festival, and food and drinks will be available for purchase. The festival is also pet-friendly.
The festival committee has created medals and T-shirts to promote the event. These items are sold in the university bookstore. The medal costs $10 and the “Coco”-inspired shirt costs $20. In previous years the medal has been entered into the San Antonio Fiesta medal competition and this year is no different.
This year the medal features the Torre de Esperanza tower with a blinking light and a dangling 10-year charm. The charm signifies the celebration of the university as a standalone university for the last 10 years. The medal was a finalist in the San Antonio Business Journal’s 2019 Fiesta Medal Contest in the Government/Education category.
“Our belief for the last several years has been that the medal should do something,” Oliver said.
A traditional part of the festival is the cascaróne smash. The cascaróne smash happens at 6 p.m. prior to the headliners performance and features about 5,000 cascarones of various colors, which are a staple of the event.
Another tradition of the festival is the golden egg contest. The drawing that is open to students and incoming fall students will take place at 2 p.m. in front of the main stage. The winner of the contest must be present for the drawing. The prizes include a $2,500 tuition voucher, a $1,500 tuition voucher and an iPad pro. Entries for the drawing began on the Festival de Cascarones website the week of April 15.
The Festival de Cascarones is the official finale of Fiesta San Antonio, according to the official Fiesta event calendar. Like the cascaróne smash, mariachis and folklórico dancers have become an integral part of the event because of the culture of San Antonio and the place that Fiesta holds for the city.
“It [Festival de Cascarones] does draw very large crowds for such a young event and such a young university,” Oliver said.
In the previous year, the university hosted approximately 7,000 people but expects 10,000 this year as the event is growing.
Local and regional bands and a ‘90s band will take the stage from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The lineup begins with student-led bands, the Austin-based Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, Houston-native country singer Olivia Lane and ends with the headliner Vertical Horizon at 6:30 p.m.
“I’ve been in Nashville for about six years pursuing country music so I get excited any time I get to come back and play in my home state of Texas,” Lane said.
Lane is set to play at 4:45 p.m. on the main stage. Lane recalled San Antonio as a lively and energetic city when she was a child. She said she looks forward to partying with the crowd and playing new music from her upcoming EP at the Festival de Cascarones.
For more information on the festival, visit http://www.tamusa.edu/festival-de-cascarones/