England has Queen Elizabeth, Spain has King Juan Carlos I , and San Antonio has the Queen of Fiesta and King Antonio. That’s right, Fiesta is so big we need a royal court to reign over the fun!
In 1909 The Order of the Alamo was founded. Every year since, members of the Order meet to select the Queen of Fiesta and her court. The court consists of a Princess, 12 Duchesses from San Antonio, and 12 Duchesses from outside of San Antonio. The mate to this royal pyramid is King Antonio, who is chosen by the Texas Cavaliers, an organization founded in 1926.
To be crowned royalty of Fiesta is a serious and highly coveted honor, however, since Fiesta is more fun than poker-faced, organizers couldn’t help but toss in a bit of ‘corniness’.
Each Fiesta the ‘Cornyation‘ Committee chooses one lucky man to hold the title of King Anchovy, a spoof on King Antonio. The Cornyation committee puts on a spirited, comical parade spoofing King Antonio’s parade. The donations collected at these events go to local charities of San Antonio. Having fun and raising money to support our city is what San Antonio is all about!
Other royal titles include El Rey Feo (the Ugly King), a man who raises the most funds for students in the San Antonio community to use towards future college expenses. The Charro Queen rules over the Fiesta Charreada event where performers show off their equestrian skills in the old Mexican style. The Queen of Soul title is bestowed upon a young African-American woman between the ages of 18 and 25 by the San Antonio Queen of Soul Board during their annual pageant.
Remember to be on your best behavior at Fiesta. You’re walking amongst royalty!