The River Parade Transforms into NIOSA as Fiesta Hits its Stride

Now that King Antonio has glided down the river, it is time for Night in Old San Antonio, the heart of Fiesta, to get underway, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Tens of thousands of spectators under perfect cloudless skies, watched as several dozen brightly lit floats, all celebrating the 'Magnificent Missions,' participated in the annual Texas Cavaliers River Parade.

The grand marshal was Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

But for many people, Fiesta is synonymous with NIOSA, which begins this afternoon at La Villita and runs through Friday.

"This like a reunion time for families," NIOSA chair Margie Arnold said of the event. "Many people come in from out of town, for vacation, they meet up with their families here in town and come down and enjoy NIOSA."

She says there will be plenty of new foods, drinks, and other goodies. “Cajun friend shrimp, chips and queso, we have a Mandarin screwdriver, which is a Smirnoff Malt Beverage in Chinatown, those are some of the new things we are featuring."

She says there are new bands in the Haymarket, Mission Trail, and French Quarter areas of La Villita.

She says even though it is Night in Old San Antonio, there is one thing that is very new, and that is the bag policy which is being implemented this year.

"Instituting bag checks, and no large bags, nothing bigger than 12 by 12 by six inches," she said. "No backpacks unless they are clear or mesh."

She says there is no indication of a threat against NIOSA, she says the event is simply coming into compliance with security protocols at other venues, like the Alamodome. She says the new policies will also make it quicker to get in the doors for the event.

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