Of Fiesta’s many, many volunteers who annually organize and present the San Antonio civic celebration’s approximately 100 separate events, certain individuals have distinguished themselves by providing what are considered outstanding volunteer contributions and have accordingly been recognized by induction to the Order of the Cascaron. Charter Members appear below and others are grouped by years on the above links with descriptions of their services to Fiesta.
Some of those services can be quite diverse, touching upon many different, important aspects of Fiesta. Others can be highly focused on a particular Fiesta activity, to assure it becomes and remains as strong and essential as possible. Still others can be provided by volunteers from outside any of Fiesta’s official organizations and structures who accept an invitation to participate and then perform far beyond anticipated expectations.
The common denominator among all Order of the Cascaron inductees is that they gave the gifts of their time and talents as all organizers and presenters do, but in such a way that they earned the respect, admiration and gratitude of their peers. Those peers, having deemed them deserving of membership in Fiesta’s highest category of dedicated volunteers, nominate them for induction. Once chosen, their singular and collective accomplishments are then honored, appreciated and celebrated by the entire Fiesta San Antonio community.
CHARTER MEMBERS, 1992
To say that Carol loves a parade would be an understatement because parades course through her as naturally as they do along their physical routes. That explains her decades-long service to the Battle of Flowers Parade (Fiesta’s original event, first presented in 1891) and its related Band Festival which culminated in her presidency of the Battle of Flowers Association in 1983-1984. But it was another parade – the Fiesta Flambeau – that was in jeopardy of dropping from the Fiesta schedule during Carol’s term as President of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission (FSAC) in 1988. Determined not to let that happen, Carol kept vigil over the Flambeau’s restructuring efforts and thereby helped to assure and secure one of Fiesta’s most popular events. With those rich volunteer experiences to her credit, it’s no wonder she was the logical choice to also organize the People’s Parade at the start of Fiesta’s centennial celebration in 1991.
Nancy Clayton’s major Fiesta involvement was also Battle of Flowers-oriented but in her case the important accomplishment was to correct an error of omission. While the annual Battle of Flowers Band Festival was featuring a large number of high school marching band students, Nancy noted those same schools’ flag unit students were Festival observers, not participants. With a goal of including those students with their band member counterparts and friends, Nancy arranged for spectacular presentations of choreographed routines by flag unit performers along with their schools’ band member performances. Doing so raised the enjoyment factor not only for the uniformed students who performed but for their audiences as well. Nancy then served as the Band Festival’s Opening & Closing Ceremonies Producer for the Color Guards and Flags for many years.
Louis Engelke was best known for the establishment of Herman’s Happiness, a Fiesta celebration of primarily German culture, music and food that began in 1978. As Grand President and CEO of the Order of the Sons of Hermann Grand Lodge, Louis aspired to create an event that would emphasize San Antonio’s strong German heritage and present it at the Lodge’s location near the downtown central business district. His event, which began by occupying a small lot on the property, grew to encompass the entire Hermann Sons complex during its more than a quarter-century tenure as an official Fiesta event
ROGER A. FLORES II*
Roger Flores had seemingly done it all, up to and including his reign as El Rey Feo XXXV in 1983 and his presidency of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission in 1989. But he saw the need to do more and so he created the foundation of an organization of former Rey Feos known as the Consejo de Reyes Feos Anteriores. The group’s goal was to continue the objectives of the Rey Feo Scholarship Committee of providing educational resources to students in San Antonio. Rey Feo, Fiesta royalty and other dignitaries, past and present, were honored each year at an annual reception held before the start of the Fiesta Flambeau night parade. Later, the organization Roger envisioned became the Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation, the name change being more indicative of its primary purpose.
JAMES W. GORMAN*
Jim’s induction to the Order of the Cascaron culminated a decades-long, multi-faceted volunteer commitment that he describes as “my enjoyable trip with the Fiesta Commission.” He’s been credited as the driving force behind the Miss Fiesta Scholarship Pageant when it began in 1982. He served as President of the Farmer’s Market Commission, a Participating Member Organization (PMO), and coordinated Market Square’s Fiesta activities. Jim’s numerous Fiesta-related positions include Lord High Chamberlain for the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo in 1974 and 1983, Commander of the Texas Cavaliers in 1972 and, most notably, his reign as King Antonio LI in 1973 and his term as President of the FSAC in 1975.
Some of the most ever present, but low key, Fiesta fixtures are important first aid stations at virtually every one of the civic celebration’s major events. As Fiesta’s founding First Aid Coordinator, Bob Heckman was the person first responsible for staff recruitment and management of Fiesta’s program and network of medical emergency preparedness. For nearly two decades Bob himself could be found at this station or that, working side by side with his fellow volunteers, all with medical backgrounds. While they may be low key in nature they are not in scope, providing a sense of security for Fiesta audiences as well as event organizers.
Art aficionado Naomi Russell-Wolfman is credited with channeling her love of and advocacy for fine art into every conceivable Fiesta opportunity. Among her achievements was work to create the Fiesta Arts Fair held each year at the Southwest School of Art during Fiesta’s first weekend. On Fiesta’s second Saturday, as part of the King William Fair, she initiated the Attic Sale of art while President of the San Antonio Art League and Museum located in the historic King William District. Her more “traditional” Fiesta activities included serving as General Chairman of a Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA) for the San Antonio Conservation Society and as President of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission in 1995. That year, she created the Fiesta Commission’s Art Scholarship Program which awarded financial assistance to area college art students and purchased some of their original works for a Fiesta Commission art collection.
Logan Stewart, more than any other single individual, can be considered responsible for the top echelon of Fiesta royalty status now enjoyed by El Rey Feo and his court. He himself served as “The Ugly King” in both 1979 and 1980 and it was during those years that he, unlike any of his predecessors over three previous decades, worked determinedly to become and be officially recognized as a viable Fiesta monarch. The Rey Feo earns his crown by raising funds for scholarships, the honor going to the candidate who raises the largest amount. But in a greater sense, with much of the credit going to Logan Stewart, El Rey Feo wears his crown as a symbol of the diversity Fiesta represents throughout the community.
Max was familiarly recognized as “Senor Charro” for his close association and involvement with the Asociacion de Charros de San Antonio which became an official part of Fiesta in 1971 to present A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada, or Mexican rodeo. He also emceed the coronation ceremony of the Charro Queen, a member of Fiesta royalty who represents all local charro groups, and he presided over the various events of the Charreada including horse reining, bull riding and roping skills. His favorite audience-pleaser at the Charreada is the performance by Escaramuza, a group of young ladies who wear elaborate ranchera dresses and hats and who present precision movements on horseback while riding sidesaddle. Thanks largely to Max, these long-standing Mexican ranching traditions have been a popular feature of Fiesta.