Fiesta’s Order Of The Alamo Presents Court Of The Argentine Republic
By Jake Gaines
Photography by Greg Harrison
Portrait photography by Gary Stanko of Billo Smith Studios
THE SCENE: Fiesta San Antonio 2017, celebrating its 126th anniversary this year, was the annual celebration’s most eclectic year ever. Fiesta supports many local philanthropic organizations and contributes substantially to the city’s economy. The festivities and pageantry, lasting several days and nights, extended into three full weeks this year. Events included the Battle of Flowers parade through downtown, directed by the Battle of Flowers Association and founded in 1891 by local business leaders when the Fiesta was inaugurated. The work that went into the festivities, almost a year into the making, proved itself through the positive impact the events had on the city of San Antonio.
THE VIBE: Fiesta’s gorgeous gowns are legendary, and this year’s designs were especially stunning. The Court Artist this year was Elizabeth Roberts. The Mistress of the Robes was Marnie Tate Simpson, who with her team, spent over three years design the trains and gowns. With The Court of Argentine Republic theme as the creative direction, the court wore their royal garments that were adorned with Swarovski and Aurora Borealis crystals, glass baguettes, rhinestone chains, bugle beads, custom stones, coins and tassels on dramatic gowns that bore 10-14 foot long trains, each weighing up to 60 pounds. The court designs evoked the images from Argentina’s gaucho to its deserts and vineyards. The lush jungles of Tierra del Fuego, country’s landscape and life, the country’s equestrian traditions and Buenos Aires provided more inspiration.
THE CAUSE: This year’s court contained 24 duchesses. Dr. Michael Casillas served as this year’s King Antonio XCV, the 2017 Coronation Chairman was Robert Eversberg, while the President of the Order of the Alamo is Scott Christy. The Lord High Chamberlain was Stephen “Tio” Kleberg and EL Rey Feo LXIX was Fred Reyes III. Contributing to Fiesta’s spirit of giving, The Texas Cavaliers Charitable Foundation, founded in 1989, have raised over $3.5 million dollars to date that have been awarded to local children’s charities.