Fiesta San Antonio begins with a bang this weekend — here are some highlights

From Fiesta de los Reyes to Oyster Bake, there's plenty to do in the first weekend of SA's annual bash.

click to enlarge Fiesta runs from Mar. 31-Apr. 10 this year. - JAIME MONZON
Jaime Monzon
Fiesta runs from Mar. 31-Apr. 10 this year.

It would be impossible to include all the events that take place during the 11-day citywide party known as Fiesta San Antonio, so we'll cover some highlights here and point the biggest Fiesta enthusiasts to the official website for an exhaustive rundown of all the celebrations. For a complete schedule, including car shows, mariachi festivals and military demonstrations, visit fiestasanantonio.org.

Fiesta de los Reyes at Market Square

This culturally rich celebration features live performances, more than 30 food booths and fun for the entire family. If you're looking to experience a great mix of music genres — from Tejano to Latin jazz to country — and more cuisine than you can imagine (save us an agua de sandia and a chicken-on-a-stick), El Mercado may be a great addition to your list of stops. Free, 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Friday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, Apr. 1-10, Market Square, 514 W. Commerce St., fiestadelosreyes.com.

A Taste of New Orleans

The highlights of the 35th Annual A Taste of New Orleans are Big Easy-style music and food, including gumbo, shrimp creole, crab rolls, beignets and other waistline-expanding delights. You can even pretend you're Bobby Boucher and feast on some alligator. $12-$15 (children 10 and under free), 5-11 p.m. Friday, Apr. 1, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 2, noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 3, Sunken Garden Theater, 3875 N. St. Mary's St., saza.org.

Fiesta Oyster Bake

Sponsored by the St. Mary's University Alumni Association, the Oyster Bake music festival attracts more than 60,000 attendees annually. The celebration includes more than 50 bands and entertainers, along with 100,000 of its namesake oysters prepared in a variety of ways. Baked isn't the only option. This year's highlights — among the bands, not the oysters — include sci fi-inspired hard rockers Blue Öyster Cult (an inspired booking choice based on the band's name alone) and Missouri rapper Chingy on Friday, along with Texas country stalwarts the Josh Abbott Band and Tejano trailblazer Bobby Pulido on Saturday. $20-$25 (children 12 and under free), 5-11 p.m. Friday, Apr. 1, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 2, St. Mary's University, 1 Camino Santa Maria, oysterbake.com.

click to enlarge The Texas Cavaliers River Parade returns to the River Walk on Monday, Apr. 4. - COURTESY OF TEXAS CAVALIERS
Courtesy of Texas Cavaliers
The Texas Cavaliers River Parade returns to the River Walk on Monday, Apr. 4.

Fiesta Arts Fair

This juried national art show features 110 artists from across the United States. Along with Fiesta food and beverage booths, the fair will feature two music stages and a children's area with art activities. $5-$15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Apr. 3, Southwest School of Art, 300 Augusta, swschool.org.

Fiesta de los Niños

Kids and adults alike should get a kick out of the robots and STEM-related activities that feature in this event. A free, live-streaming collegiate eSports tournament will also take place all day. Free, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 2, San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology, 102 Mabry Drive, fiestadelosninos.com.

The Texas Cavaliers River Parade

This longtime Fiesta favorite allows viewers to watch colorful floats travel the San Antonio River through downtown. If you want to enjoy the eye candy while avoiding the crowds, the River Parade will be broadcast live on KSAT and its affiliate stations. $18-$28, 7-9:30 p.m. Monday, Apr. 4, San Antonio River Walk, texascavaliers.org.

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