Celebrate: Fiesta UTSA is Friday, April 8 at Sombrilla Plaza on Main Campus

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Official 2011 Fiesta San Antonio poster

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(April 6, 2011)--UTSA's annual official Fiesta San Antonio event, Fiesta UTSA "De Colores!," is 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday, April 8 at Sombrilla Plaza on the Main Campus. Student organizations will sponsor food, activities and music with proceeds benefiting the organizations. Fiesta royalty, including King Antonio and El Rey Feo (The Ugly King), will arrive at 1 p.m. directly from the Alamo. The event on the opening day of Fiesta San Antonio is free and open to the public.

Running April 7-17 this year, Fiesta San Antonio is an 11-day annual festival each April coordinated by the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, a private nonprofit organization. With more than 100 Fiesta events produced entirely by local nonprofit groups, the events generate funding for scholarships, grants, health organizations, and arts and music groups. Fiesta began in April 1891 when San Antonio women staged a Battle of Flowers in front of the Alamo to commemorate the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto.

Fiesta UTSA is an alcohol-free event, along with the upcoming Party on the Paseo, set for 6:30-10:30 p.m., Thursday, April 14 at the University Center paseo on the Main Campus. There will be food, live music by Brazo, games and prizes. For more information, call the UTSA Office of Student Activities at 210-458-4160.

An unofficial Fiesta event during the celebration, Party on the Paseo is a national award-winner. Sponsored by the student organization Be A Responsible Roadrunner (BARR), it is geared toward alcohol awareness and received a supporting grant of more than $15,000 from the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission.

Presented the same night as the unofficial college night at Fiesta's "Night in Old San Antonio" (NIOSA), Party on the Paseo is credited with a dramatic decrease in alcohol violations on campus during the opening weekend of Fiesta. In the first year of the program, violations decreased from 14 to seven -- and then down to one last year.

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Fiesta San Antonio kickoff is 5:30-9:30 p.m., Thursday, April 7

Fiesta San Antonio opens at "Fiesta-Fiesta" from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, April 7 at Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio. The fun will begin with mariachi melodies and folklorico dancing. There will be a children's area, along with pins and medals for sale and food and souvenirs offered by local groups.

At 6:15, salute our country and our military with the national anthem and Fiesta military ambassadors, followed by music by the Navy Band New Orleans. Mayor Julian Castro and Sam Steves, president of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, will begin the official kickoff ceremony at 8:15 p.m., helped by King Antonio, El Rey Feo and other Fiesta royalty. Following the ceremony, enjoy music by Grupo Vida until 9:30 p.m.