As a proud San Antonian, I look forward to celebrating Fiesta each year like many others. Fiesta is typically a 2 week celebration dating back to the Battle of San Jacinto in 1891 composed of parades, food, and overall pachangas. We have our Fiesta traditions (such as sitting in the same spot each year for the King William parade, attending NIOSA on opening night, dancing crazily to the high school bands during the Fiesta Flambeau) and have just barely discovered another Fiesta tradition-MEDALS!
I have always seen medals on the Fiesta royalty and a few people with those sashes filled with them but thought you just had to “be someone” to get one or pay a small fortune. My husband is given a TMMTX medal each year and after 8 years, I figured that I had enough that I could start pinning on a sash. My medal obsession had officially begun. I went to Amols and made a $5 investment for a blue sash and starting pinning my few medals on.
Once I had decided to try and be on the lookout for them, I realized EVERYONE has a medal to give out! Corporations, individuals, non-profits, politicians and of course, Fiesta royalty. And a lot of them are FREE! Liberty Bar had an event where the first 100 people to come would get one. Pin Pandemonium, held on Fiesta’s opening day, is a day to grab some freebies and trade with fellow medal enthusiasts. I learned that many companies produce their own medals. Some are exclusive to employees such as TMMTX, Whataburger and HEB (I got my hands on 2 of the three). Other company/organizations use the medals to raise monies or bring attention to their causes such as the Canolli Fund and Beethoven Maennerchor.
I have to admit Fiesta has gotten a lot more exciting since I have been on the hunt for Fiesta medals. Here are some basic tips I have learned as a first-time collector:
1.Social Media. I was surprised at the amount of contests on instagram, facebook and twitter that are offered a medal as a prize. I posted a few pics of my medal haul and some of my thoughtful friends even got some for me.
2. If you get the opportunity to score duplicates, keep one and trade the others! Or just trade them all you are not particularly attached. Some of these experienced traders are specifically looking for the current year or certain themed medals.
3. ASK! I saw people wearing Fiesta medals and I asked if they had any trades. Some did and others just gave me some. It seemed like there were a lot of people whose sole job was to pass out their medals from their organization. It was fun to see everyone’s collections and hear the tale on their medal acquisition. At NIOSA, I saw a man wearing a Whataburger shirt and I asked if he happened to have any medals. Score!
4. Wear your medals proudly! I actually had people come up to me and give me a medal for my collection. Woohoo!
There are a few days left of Fiesta left which means more time to get more medals! What do you think of fiesta medals and are you collecting?