BestFest, an annual celebration held in October, began in 1978 as “a special salute to five of the state’s outstanding festivals,” including New Braunfels’ Wurstfest, Corpus Christi’s Buccaneer Days, San Antonio’s Fiesta, the Texas State Fair in Dallas, and George Washington’s Birthday Celebration in Laredo. It was presented by the student organization Variety 79.
In 1979, the event was said to be “a salute to five of the city’s outstanding festivals: Fiesta Navidena, King William Fair, La Feria del Rio, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, and the Texas Folklife Festival.”
In the late 1970s, BestFest included performances by the UTSA Brass Ensemble and UTSA Jazz Ensemble, several contests such as the jalapeño eating contest, egg toss, “Walking the Plank Contest,” “Pee Wee Bicycle Races,” and others. The modern Best Fest incorporates a Halloween theme with costume and booth-decorating contests.
In 2010, BestFest was one of the three finalists for outstanding Tradition by the National Association for Campus Activities. This year, BestFest will be held on October 26 in the Sombrilla.