Every spring, the streets of San Antonio, Texas are filled in celebration of the city’s “Fiesta.” San Antonio ISD transportation are always a part of the festivities.
This year, San Antonio celebrated the 10-day festival from April 20 to 30. The highlight of this event is the “Fiesta Flambeau Parade,” reportedly America’s largest illuminated night parade. This festival originated in 1891 to honor the memory of heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The parade runs through the streets of downtown San Antonio along a 2.6-mile route and is viewed by over 750,000 spectators and another 1.5 million on television.
Nathan Graf, director of transportation for San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), told School Transportation News that this year’s parade on April 29 was the “Diamond Jubilee.” The district decorated a school bus with over 48,000 lights to represent its student enrollment.
“It is the first time that a school bus was in the parade and the first time that an SAISD department had an entry in the parade,” Graf said via email.
He described the bus with six crowns, a cape, and two scepters which represented bus drivers as kings and queens of the road.
“We did not plan for this, but our theme also tied into the recent coronation of King Charles [the previous] weekend,” added Graf.
Tracy Garcia, talent acquisition manager for SAISD, played a key role in organizing this event while simultaneously using it as an opportunity to recruit new school bus drivers. She handed out cooling fans printed with hiring information.
Graf noted that SAISD Operations Director Karelyn Saenz and Fleet Director Tony Casanova were in charge of decorating and illuminating the school bus. Over 20 bus drivers and monitors marched in the parade.
According to a local news article, the event included food and drink booths, arts and crafts activities and live music performances, all of which showcase the city’s unique cultural heritage.
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