Thank you to everyone who participated and volunteered their time to make the 2018 King William Parade a stunning and educational success!  This year’s parade theme, “History is Alive & Well - 300 Years in San Antonio,” inspired the audience to take a closer look at our city’s diverse story.  The Parade committee was faced with a daunting task in selecting the final entries.  All in all, the 104 entries selected did not disappoint – participants were entertaining, hilarious and/or breathtaking.  Our neighborhood Parade judges certainly had their work cut out for them.  

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Best Historical Recreation: Granaderos y Damas de Galvez and Battle For Texas: The Experience

These two groups joined forces to open the Parade by bringing to life the people who discovered and settled San Antonio.  Spanish explorers discovered the Payaya Nation’s settlement at San Pedro Springs in 1661, and “Villa de Bejar” was founded by 1718.

Los Granaderos and Battle For Texas gathered members and friends who love to share history to reenact the people who lived the stories.  Together these friends collected key characters who paved the way for San Antonio’s settlement:  Spanish Colonial guards, a commander, a general, soldiers, plus American and Spanish militia men keeping pace to a cadence performed by a Spanish Colonial drum major and his fifers and drummers.  Walking in front of the soldiers were two Presidial soldiers and a Franciscan friar.  

Leading this historic Spanish sight were six individuals dressed in the attire of the time and region of the six flags they carried that once flew over Texas.

Thank you to these ladies and gentlemen for a respectable and awesome presentation of San Antonio’s earliest known roots!

Best Show of Historical Creativity: Angelina de Carlo Salon

Mary Alice Medina and her sister, Rebecca Medina, created an extraordinary feast for the eyes.  Larger-than-life Frida Kahlo models struck a pose on an elegantly decorated trailer end-capped with a large painting of Kahlo by salon stylist Beth DeLeon’s niece.  The fashionistas on their float wore oversized round Frida Kahlo heads created by Rebecca and Mary Alice.  Each mask had large bright eyes, pouty red lips, splendid earrings, beautiful facial hair, and dark braided hair crowned with vibrant and enormous roses, lilies, carnations and tropical birds.  In addition to the large heads, the women wore fabulous modern takes on traditional Mexican fashion designed by several Angelina de Carlo stylists.

Are you questioning what this has to do with San Antonio’s timeline?  The Mexican Revolution brought a lot of immigrants north, which helped San Antonio become the “Mexican” city it is today.  Frida was a child during the Revolution, but was later known for dressing in the traditional Mexican attire that was prevalent during that time.  It’s a bit of a stretch, but there was no way the Parade Committee was saying no to this quality of artistry.

Best Comedic Historical Recreation: La Tuna Ice House 

Imagine men and women dressed in brown tights, cowboy boots and brown T-shirts with baby bottle nipples glued to their bellies. Now, finish that look with a cowboy hat adorned with a pair of handmade longhorns.  Finally, include a loud “mooooo” and now it makes sense that they are conjuring up Samuel Augustus Maverick!  

In case you’re still scratching your head, Samuel Maverick, among his other claims to fame (Texas Revolution), was notorious for not branding his cattle.  His name became the source of the term “maverick.”

What the Heck, But It Works: San Antonio Birth Center

Imagine a trailer float with an early German settler cabin scene.  While a heavily pregnant woman is doing laundry she loudly proclaims, “The baby is coming, fetch the midwife!”  A child who is walking with other settlers alongside the trailer animatedly runs around hollering for a midwife.  A woman in the group comes to the child and follows her to the trailer.  Meanwhile, the pregnant woman is quite animated and loud.  The midwife arrives and tends to her.  Climbing under her skirt, she comes out with a baby.  The new mother is ecstatic at the sight of her freshly born babe and she retreats into her cabin.  

Yes, that birthing reenactment was in the King William Parade.  It had most laughing out loud, a true “what the heck” moment. 

Their Historic Spirit Made You Have Spirit: Canary Islands Descendants Association

Honored as this year’s Grand Marshal, the Canary Islands Descendants were accompanied by the artwork of SAY Sí alumnus Martin Delgado.  Martin created a San Fernando Cathedral sculpture to represent the first organized civil government in Texas that was created by the Canary Islanders.  

These descendants of San Antonio’s early pioneers wore traditional 18th century Canarian fashions that were dynamic with vibrant reds, sunny yellows, deep blues and rich blacks.  The Canary Islands Descendants proudly held hot pink signs decorated with colorful ribbons bearing the last names of the sixteen families who settled here.  

Most Memorable Entry: Texas Camel Corps

Two camels and their three humps marched down the streets of King William just like they once did in the 1850s.  Well, sort of.  Between 1856 and 1866, the United States Camel Corps used camels to haul military supplies between Camp Verde and San Antonio.  

For the Texas Camel Corps, education is the heart of it all.  Their driving goal is to share their camels in a one-of-a-kind setting that the public will enjoy and remember.

If you happened to witness the camels behind the scenes, it was a treat to hear them coo when their handler appeared.  Thank you to Doug Baum for caring for these beautiful beasts that sparked our audience to learn more.

To view more photos of the 2018 Parade Winners, please visit our website at kwfair.org.

- Alicia Spence-Schlesinger, Fair Coordinator/Chief Parade Wrangler