April 16, 2020

These vintage photos of Cornyation show why it's always been Fiesta's wildest party

Well, it's here: the first Fiesta weekend without Fiesta. And while some locals are finding creative alternatives to Fiesta festivities, it's just not the same.

One event we're missing in particular is Cornyation, the long-running sendup of the high-falutin' Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo, which has now evolved into bawdy tradition in its own right.

Though a California native, Alamo City transplant Amy Stone became enraptured with Cornyation after first attending in 2009. This led to years of intensive research that involved both digging into local archives and even becoming a Cornyation stage hand and duchess. That work culminated in the 2017 book Cornyation: San Antonio’s Outrageous Fiesta Tradition.

For this trip down memory lane, Stone provided the Current with a bevy of photos showcasing Cornyation's madcap majesty across the years, some of which didn't make it into the book.

Photos courtesy of Amy Stone
Scroll down to view images

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Kay Crews as Her Asthmatic Majesty, 1952
Kay Crews as Her Asthmatic Majesty, 1952
Duchess, Cornyation 1964
Duchess, Cornyation 1964
Local legend Gene Elder as King Anchovy in the '80s
Local legend Gene Elder as King Anchovy in the '80s
Gretchen Shoopman as Empress of the Song of No Way, 1987 (photo by Ruben Njaa)
Gretchen Shoopman as Empress of the Song of No Way, 1987 (photo by Ruben Njaa)
Cornyation 1982 (photo by Al Rendon)
Cornyation 1982 (photo by Al Rendon)
Queens of the Glorified Barnyard
Queens of the Glorified Barnyard
Cornyation 1953
Cornyation 1953
Court of the Glorified Barnyard
Court of the Glorified Barnyard
Scarecrow, Court of the Glorified Barnyard
Scarecrow, Court of the Glorified Barnyard
Ann Kinser as the Queen of Scintillating Saturn, 1993 (photo by Michael Mehl)
Ann Kinser as the Queen of Scintillating Saturn, 1993 (photo by Michael Mehl)