Fashion: Fiesta Queens!

It wouldn’t be San Antonio without FIESTA! Flowers, floats, and fierce Fiesta queens capture the pulse of our vibrant city. Though we instantly picture iconic Fiesta fashion staples like beautifully embroidered blouses, bright flowers and long ribbons, these queens are so much more than just extravagant gowns & crowns. Each queen’s title holds longstanding historical significance, and represent the organizations that have helped make Fiesta what it is today! 

Queen of the Order of the Alamo

Claudia Luedemann Kiolbassa

Queen of the Order of the Alamo

Miss Fiesta San Antonio

Calista Burns 

Miss. Fiesta San Antonio

As a Fiesta Queen, how do you give back to the community? 

As Miss Fiesta, my community service project is with GEMS which stands for Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science. GEMS is a free all-girls program that hosts camps during the summer and clubs during the school year and teaches the students about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). The GEMS mission statement is to inspire and empower young girls to be innovative with their future in the fields of STEAM. I am currently a Junior majoring in Education with a double minor in Math and Reading and I hope to be a math teacher and eventually teach math at the college level. I hope that I can be a role model to young girls and lead by example for GEMS and for San Antonio, proving that females can enter the STEAM fields with no limitations. 

What’s your usual wardrobe color palette? 

My wardrobe color palette is a lot of blues and grays. I like to keep it simple for everyday outfits especially since I’ve been doing school online from home. In the summer I like to wear brighter colors like pinks and yellows!

What is your favorite Fiesta memory?

When my name was announced as Miss Fiesta San Antonio 2020, I felt so much love and felt like I got a second amazing family! I think my most memorable memory will be being in the Battle of Flowers and Flambeau Parades when we can have them in 2022! 

What’s your usual wardrobe color palette? 

My wardrobe color palette is a lot of blues and grays. I like to keep it simple for everyday outfits especially since I’ve been doing school online from home. In the summer I like to wear brighter colors like pinks and yellows!

What’s your favorite place to shop? Do you have a favorite local store?

My favorite place to shop is J-Crew! I love their clothes because it’s comfortable and trendy. More than half my closet is from J-Crew! They always have the greatest sales and discounts for students and teachers! My favorite local store is Target, I can always find something that I like at Target!

La Reina de la Feria de las Flores

Gabrielle Uribe

Reina de la Feria de las Flores

Gabrielle is a San Antonio native that recently joined the team at Dell Technologies after earning a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics at Texas Christian University. Her strong San Antonio roots prepared her for success in college and in her professional life. It is the appreciation of her upbringing and experiences throughout her education that emboldened her passion to give back to her community. Gabrielle has been an active volunteer in organizations in the San Antonio area such as The Davidson Respite House, SNIPSA, and Women’s Global Connection. 

Gabrielle’s reign as La Reina de la Feria de las Flores will be a culmination of positive influences throughout her life. Like most San Antonians, she was exposed to Fiesta at a young age and was enthralled by the idea of both celebrating and supporting her community. A graduate of Incarnate Word High School, Gabrielle witnessed first-hand the impact that joint community efforts have. Fiesta in many ways combines the concept of community togetherness and civic duty, instilled in Gabrielle by her family.

Gabrielle committed to raising funds for the LULAC Parent/Child Scholarship Program, an extraordinary program that offers scholarships that support two generations of students. She hopes that through this and future ventures throughout her life, she can make a difference in her community.

Fiesta Teenage Queen

Sophia Christiansen 

Fiesta teenage queen

As a Fiesta Queen, how do you give back to the community? 

I am involved with Respite Care of San Antonio, a Woman’s Club charity, which is a home for abused and neglected children. I help organize their annual Christmas party benefitting the children of Respite Care. I coordinate the gift wrapping to ensure each child has a special gift. I also created a Supply Drive receiving donations of books, toys, bikes, luggage and furniture for Respite Care. I serve as Senior Class President of Reagan High School and a Vice President of the National Honor Society where I am responsible for organizing volunteer events at Animal Care Services for NHS members. The Woman’s Club supports the Volunteer Service Council for the Texas State Hospital, Texas WINGS, and provides scholarships to students at San Antonio College. I am also a certified Water Safety Instructor. I truly am passionate about advocating for women in sports and educating children in water safety.  

What’s your favorite Fiesta tradition?

The Woman’s Club Fiesta Flower Show- an official Fiesta event that is going on its 107th year. I have participated in the Flower Show every year since elementary school. This event showcases beautiful flowers, creative arrangements, and the gardening talents of the community.

What are you passionate about?

I serve as a Team Captain of Reagan High School’s Varsity Swim Team and I have been involved on my club swim team for 12 years. I am a certified Water Safety Instructor, so I truly am passionate about advocating for women in sports and educating children in water safety.  I volunteer as a swim coach to children for a summer league swim team to help improve their skills. I give weekly swim lessons to young children, including children with special needs, because I am passionate about water safety. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional and preventable death in children ages 1 to 4. I believe that water safety is important and that every child should learn how to swim in a safe and fun manner. I will be attending Texas A&M University in the fall, majoring in Biomedical Science. I want to be involved in the field of orthopedic sports medicine to develop ways to prevent sports injuries.   

What’s your favorite accessory?

My apple watch because I can use it when I do my swim practices. It’s efficient and helps me keep track of my day.

 What do you like to wear in a formal dress?  

I like simple styles. Flowers and lace are my favorites on a formal dress. My favorite colors in clothing are maroons and pinks.

Charro Queen

Alexa Primera 

Charro Queen

What’s your favorite Fiesta tradition?

My favorite tradition so far would be the opening Fiesta parade. The short walk around downtown is so fun because you can see everyone getting excited for the upcoming weeks. 

How would you describe your personal style?

I like to stay comfortable and in loose-fitting clothes. I love 90’s grunge fashion, so my go-to outfit is usually “dad jeans”, a shirt or tank top with an oversized cardigan and high-top converse. I also love rings. I feel like having your fingers filled with rings can make you feel powerful. It just looks so cool! I love wearing them and seeing others with them. 

Do you have a favorite designer?

Christian Dior always releases beautiful pieces. The Spring 2021 collection was magical. I love the Earth tones and dreamy fabrics and patterns used. It made me excited for warm weather and all new trends!

What do you never leave your house without?

I never leave without my Ruby stone necklace. I’ve had it for about 3 years now. It’s simple, so it goes with everything. If it doesn’t match, I just tuck it in my shirt, but I love it. I never take it off and it makes me feel safe and comfortable.  

Queen of Soul

Rebekah Wynn 

Fiesta Queen of Soul

How did your Fiesta royalty position come to be, and when was the first queen in your court named?

This is a very special piece of Queen of Soul and Fiesta History.  We can thank Mr. Tom E. Turner, who in 1969, organized the Queen of Soul.  He felt that all people should have full representation and identify themselves without any issues.  He noted that this was not the case for his neighboring African American community. This was evident especially during one of the most fun- filled time of year in -April during Fiesta week.  He decided that since he had the means and he would make this possible. He recruited Ms. Gracie (Griffin) Poe, a former Miss St. Phillips College, to produce and direct the first pageant.  Ms. Gracie Poe had pageant experience at both St. Phillips College and The Ella Austin Community Center.  The inaugural pageant was headquartered in the Penthouse room of Atkins Advertising. This space provided a plush and luxurious Hollywood atmosphere. Ms.  Poe enlisted, Earl Hill and Jefri Willis to form the fists Board of Directors. Each year more and more interested community leaders and organizations became a part of the support and leadership cadre.  One of the most supportive members was radio station KAPE. The very first young lady crowned as the Queen of Soul was Miss Libby Barksdale, she served from 1969-1971.

As a Fiesta Queen, how do you get involved in / give back to the community, and what organizations do you work with? 

As the Queen of Soul, one of my main goals is to empower young African Americans and all girls of color to find love and confidence in themselves. Encouraging them to identify and achieve their goals is key. Being a mentor and role model to the youth in the community is an awesome responsibility and pleasure. To achieve this goal, I have visited schools, forums  and social gatherings in the community via Zoom. In addition I have participated in two parades to promote voting and the benefit of completing the Census forms, with members of our City Council.

What is the story behind/significance of your Fiesta Regalia pieces?  

I suppose as with all royalty, the sash signifies your position.  The crown is a symbol of honor, to emulate the halo effect- it is a symbol of achievement beyond beauty. The Queen of Soul also wears a very special piece of jewelery -a Jade and Gold necklace. This was a gift to the Queen of Soul organization from Ms. Jennifer Hru, the owner of Mandarin Gems, a few years ago. This beautiful gemstone signifies nobility, positive energy and beauty.  It is also believed to promote wisdom, balance, and peace.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would like to say I’m a trend setter.  I like to play with my styles.  I would describe my style as unique, just like my personality. I love to wear dresses and jumpsuits. I find them more comfortable than wearing jeans and a T-shirt. When I go out, you’ll probably find me wearing a flowy maxi dress and some flats. I also love to wear sun hats.  The bigger, the better! When I dress up, I love to wear a long gown, something silky with a little bit of bling.  I think brighter colors compliment my skin beautifully, so I gravitate more towards them (especially reds).

Miss San Antonio

Natalie Torresday

Miss San Antonio

As a Fiesta Queen, how do you give back to the community?

I believe it’s our social duty to take care of our community! Coming from a family of immigrants, having access to attend a university is the most beautiful gift my parents have gifted me. For those reasons I’m very dedicated to helping other students continue their education and founded my own scholarship foundation with Cafe College called, “Latinos Severing Latinos, Unidos Podemos”. I also love children and have organized a Santa Toy Drive and Valentine’s Cupcake event for the SA Children Shelter. I’m currently in the works of planning an Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza so stay tuned! 

What’s your favorite accessory?

Shoes! I loveeee wearing high heals! The click clack sound, the attitude, the femininity! Ahh Im obsessed! If I could go to the gym in heels I would! 

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