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April 16, 2020 Slideshows » Arts

These Vintage Photos of Cornyation Show Why It's Always Been Fiesta's Wildest Party 

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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
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Kay Crews as Her Asthmatic Majesty, 1952
Duchess, Cornyation 1964
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)
Cornyation 1982 (photo by Al Rendon)
Queens of the Glorified Barnyard
Cornyation 1953
Court of the Glorified Barnyard
Scarecrow, Court of the Glorified Barnyard
Ann Kinser as the Queen of Scintillating Saturn, 1993 (photo by Michael Mehl)
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Queen of Mascara
Anne Thompson as the Empress of the Court of Cosmetic Subterfuge, 1953
Terry Behalf as the Duchess of Herman’s Happiness, 1996 (photo by Al Rendon)
Queens of Lipstick and Mudmask
Elaine Honigblum as the Vice-Empress of Vice, 1959
Mary Byall as the Empress of the More-the-Marrier, 1963
Mary Byall as the Empress of the More-the-Marrier, 1963
Miss Red Light and Company, 1960
Cari Hill as Vice-Empress of the Court of Outrageous Pretentiousness, 1991 (photo by Al Rendon)
Cornyation 1953
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Wheel-O-Politics
Cornyation 1965
Cornyation 1953
"Fiesta Aftermath" issue of The Calendar, 1984
1951 Cornyation Program
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Kay Crews as Her Asthmatic Majesty, 1952

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