For just the second time since its birth in 1891, the Fiesta San Antonio Commons has been canceled. Initially, officials only pushed the date back to November. But rising coronavirus cases and city citations have led to an outright shutdown.
Fiesta has taken place every April for well over a hundred years. During this event, the community gathers to celebrate its diverse cultures. Singing, dancing, and food abound. The last time the city had to cancel Fiesta was during WWII. Back then, it took a two-year break from 1942-1944. Now, the city hopes it will only be dark for a year. They currently plan to move forward with the 130th celebration in April of 2021.
Fiesta is a vital part of the San Antonio economy. It is $340 million worth of the economy, to be exact. It helps to create and maintain 3,464 full-time jobs. Roughly 2.5 million people attend it each year.
Organizers canceled Fiesta with a heavy heart. The website reads, “The highest priority is the health and safety of our Fiesta guests and volunteers. We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is not likely to subside sufficiently at any time in 2020…”
Unfortunately, not all events and businesses share this idea.
Over the weekend, San Antonio reported 1,000 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths. That puts the area’s total case count at 19,648. The death count is now at 184. Even despite these numbers, many residents are refusing to comply with safety orders.
The city of San Antonio has, so far, issued over 2,800 warnings and 89 citations. Violations include all kinds of events. For instance: on July 4, an owner refused to close his bar. On July 1, officers found customers and staff not wearing masks at a Family Dentist. June 27, officers were called nine different times. May 2, they found an illegal gambling ring. They cited over 34 individuals at one home. And these are only a few of many cases.
Officials claim they have fielded over 8,500 calls reporting violations as of yesterday. It’s all hands on deck. Multiple city departments are working together to enforce safety rules. Those ignoring health ordinances can be issued a citation by:
Last week was the most deadly week so far in Texas. Officials reported over 5,000 new cases. If Texans want their lives back in full, they will have to start following the rules. Otherwise there may not be a Fiesta San Antonio next year. Or else many beloved members of the community will be missing from it.