Area Students Begin 2019 Battle of Flowers Parade Float Preparations

By Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News 

Students  from eight area high schools last evening received a homework  assignment due during Fiesta 2019: claim a Battle Flowers Parade float  and make it their own, WOAI News reports. 

Eight  groups of 16 students from North East, Northside, Harlandale, South San  Antonio and San Antonio school districts last evening attended the  unveiling of next year’s Battle of Flowers float designs at The Gazebo  at Los Patios Restaurant on the north side and participated in a drawing  to claim one of the floats, which they will help customize between now  and the April 28 parade. 

The contingents also will ride on their floats  during the downtown parade, attended each year by tens of thousands of  Fiesta goers. 

Battle  of Flowers Association President Anna-Laura Howell Block says  organizers invite campuses on a rotating basis from among Bexar County’s  17 school districts to be a part of the popular procession’s Public  School Section. 

The “parade within a parade” is large enough so that  every local public high school can participate in the parade during a  repeating four-year cycle. And while the Association covers each float’s decoration and related  costs the student representatives play central roles, appearing in  festive attire on their floats, accompanied by their schools’ marching  bands and spirit organizations. 

“We  give them a stipend, and they use that stipend to do costumes so that  they feel like they go with the float theme,” Block says. 

The  2019 Battle of Flowers Parade theme is “For the Love of Texas,” with  floats that incorporate science, natural beauty, agriculture and  industry, landmarks and discoveries, music, and lore and myth associated  with the Lone Star State. 

The Public School Section’s theme is “For the  Love of Dynamic Discovery.” 

Block says student brainstorming starts immediately. 

“They  think about the Texas history and what we’re depicting on the float;  they go home with a really great graphic,” she says. “And then they talk  about what kind of costumes they want to do to best represent that  theme.” 

She  said as the parade date approaches, the students practice float  routines and attend a dress rehearsal attended by local media.

 “They’ll see their float for the first time, and that’s pretty powerful,” Block says. Association members also provide guidance throughout the process. “We  have a person per school that kind of does the ‘hand holding’ and stays  in touch with them, and makes sure everybody feels comfortable about  the journey they are about to go on for the parade,” Block says. 

Student parade representatives, she says, can be anyone approved by their respective campuses. 

“It  might be the Spanish honor society, or it may be the football players,”  she says. “We leave that to them. We just want to be gracious hosts and  say, ‘Hey, we’d like to highlight your school this year.’”

 Block says the Battle of Flowers Association has conducted educational outreach for more than 50 years.

 The Battle of Flowers Parade began in 1891 and is Fiesta’s founding event. 

2019's Battle of Flowers Parade Public School Section floats and schools are: 

Pursuing the Prehistoric – SOUTH SAN HIGH SCHOOL

We’ve  seen proof Dinosaurs loved living in the Lone Star State as much as we  do. Their tracks cross Government Canyon to West Texas and now they live  large at the Witte Museum.  

Shooting for the Stars – BRACKENRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL

From  Houston hosting NASA to SpaceX blasting off in Brownsville, Texans look  to the sky and launch the world into the final frontier. 

Tasty Texas Treats – WARREN HIGH SCHOOL

Who  can resist barbecue, chili, pecan pie, chicken fried steak? Texas is a  foodie paradise.  Explore an explosion of edible treats at the Texas  State Fair. 

Beauty Below – LANIER HIGH SCHOOL

Texas  has a beauty much deeper than the surface. Fishing, diving, and boating  are just some of the ways we explore over 360 miles of the Texas coast.  Or we can simply visit the Texas State Aquarium to discover what lies  below. 

Wild for Wildlife – JOHNSON HIGH SCHOOL

Whether  it is furry, scaly or feathery we want to showcase the biggest,  smallest and rarest of our animal friends. Texas hosts the most unusual  assortment of critters. 

Power Moves – MACARTHUR HIGH SCHOOL

What  state ranks 7th in solar power in the United States, spins 3 of the top  ten worldwide wind farms, and stands at number 1 for oil production?   Texas. It powers our nation and the world with oil, wind and solar  inventive innovations.  

Bold Bops –YOUNG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

Melodies  mingle, mix and merge to catch the perfect beat. Country, blues, jazz,  gospel, rock ’n’ roll, conjunto are all alive and thrive in Texas. 

Reading Writing and Telling Tales – HARLANDALE HIGH SCHOOL

Nothing  stirs the imagination like Texas. Pecos Bill riding a tornado down the  Rio Grande, Lone Ranger wrestling cattle rustlers or even Chupacabra  spotting along the South Texas Plains leaves us to wonder what more  there is to be discovered.

PHOTOS: Battle of Flowers Association

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