Fiesta 2014 at the Institute of Texan Cultures

feature hats
Institute of Texan Cultures hat, originally worn by Executive Director Angelica Docog for the Fiesta Hat Social Club annual luncheon in 2013.
© Institute of Texan Cultures

Hats Off to Fiesta!

Institute of Texan Cultures takes part in Fiesta 2014

UPDATE: "Fiesta Fan Fest," the annual medal weigh-in, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 28.
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio’s Fiesta defines the spirit of the city. While originally founded to celebrate and commemorate the fallen heroes of the Texas revolution, the festival has become an annual tradition, creating a city-wide party. The spirit of the season is reflected in the people’s clothes, from cool guayaberas, to opulent gowns, to medal-strewn sashes.
The Institute of Texan Cultures has prepared an exhibit specifically for the Fiesta season, "Hats Off to Fiesta!" featuring nearly 50 artistic, over-the-top hats that embody the uniquely San Antonio tradition. Hats Off to Fiesta will be displayed March 28 through July 6.
"The best part about Fiesta hats is that there are no rules or limitations," said Diana Luis, curator for the exhibit. "It is your own personal creation and reflects how you feel about Fiesta. Anyone can make and wear one of these amazing pieces of art, and show off how amazing San Antonio really is."
Luis attributes the inspiration for the current Fiesta hat traditions to the early celebrations of the Battle of Flowers, when women often wore decorated hats, and to the excitement surrounding Fiesta Royalty and their crowns. She explains, "Fiesta hats allow everyone to feel royal for a day."
Hats Off to Fiesta is a starting point for additional Fiesta displays at the museum. The San Antonio Conservation Society is commemorated in the museum’s "A Night in Old San Antonio: A History in Photographs," a display created in partnership with the San Antonio Conservation Society. The photos illustrate how the "party with a purpose" has evolved from its beginnings as an autumn harvest festival to the current four-day cultural adventure, and how its proceeds help preserve historic buildings throughout San Antonio.
The Institute of Texan Cultures has engaged the Academy of Career and Technologies Charter High School to prepare a student exhibit, "Colors of Fiesta!" showcasing their skill in designing Fiesta hats. Students from the Fashion and Design program created 15 hats that embody the vibrancy and excitement of Fiesta, while also showcasing their design and construction skills.
Also known for its 2013 medal display, the ITC will accept donations of 2014 medals for a giant "Fiesta Medal Mania! II" sash. The museum is scheduled to host the medal weigh-in, Fiesta Fan Fest, on April 28.
"Fiesta is about the people who make the city of San Antonio so great," said Luis. "It really brings out the creative side of many San Antonians."
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit




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