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The other day I happened onto a message board where they were asking if anyone had tickets for the Flambeau Parade, the illuminated night parade that’s traditionally the last function of Fiesta.

I said, “Wait. What do you mean, Flambeau? Has Fiesta already started?” Well, it had started and ended and I was somewhere else. Deep in the throes of a book, which is my only excuse.

I don’t participate in Fiesta functions anymore. Too many people, too much beer – that sort of thing. There’s a lot of pageantry surrounding Fiesta, but they sometimes take it WAY too seriously. Like the Order of the Alamo and their crowning of the Queen and her court each year in a ceremony at the Majestic Theater.

You have to admit, however, that the dresses of the court are magnificent. They’re showcased on the parades, with the court (and the Queen) on individual floats with the trains of their dresses falling down behind them. They’re spectacular, especially with all the glittering jewels sparkling in the Texas sunlight.

This year’s theme was America the Beautiful and here are just three of the dresses.

We always seemed to come back to San Antonio when we went overseas. Japan, San Antonio, Canada, San Antonio, France, San Antonio, Italy, San Antonio – so I was able to go to the parades a lot when I was younger. (I didn’t particularly WANT to go, by the way.) When my kids were little I dragged them to a few parades just to satisfy my Mommy Quotient. I used to enjoy the sight of the dresses the most. Now I’d just as soon look at them online.

Here’s a link to see them all.