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Battle of Flowers Parade, Participants and Floats

April 23, 2009

Mary Louise Price, Duchess of the Laurels, and Josephine Nix, attendant sprite, in the 1925 Battle of Flowers Parade.

Mary Louise Price, Duchess of the Laurels, and Josephine Nix, attendant sprite, in the 1925 Battle of Flowers Parade.

Throughout the history of the Battle of Flowers Parade, participants have gone all out in elaborately adorning their vehicles – be they carriages, wagons, bicycles, horses, or cars – and floats with colorful flowers, both real and artificial. For example, in describing the first parade in 1891, the San Antonio Light noted that there were “over 100 carriages and other vehicles, all gaily decorated and many containing decorations of real artistic merit.” In the early years of the parade, many participants were individuals and groups of family and friends who rode in their own vehicles. Over the years, however, community groups and organizations increasingly comprised the majority of participants. Moreover, in 1909 John B. Carrington established the Order of the Alamo, which remains responsible for selecting each year’s queen, princess, and court of duchesses. Each chosen lady rides a float in the parade and wears an elegant gown with a lengthy train.

Below are some photographs of participants in the Battle of Flowers Parade during the first decades of the twentieth century. With so many wonderful images in the archives, it was difficult to select just a handful for the blog!

A baby in a decorated carriage, 1905.

A baby in a decorated carriage, 1905.

Two women in a decorated carriage, circa 1900-1910.

Two women in a decorated carriage, circa 1900-1910.

Two women with their drivers, circa 1900-1910.

Two women with their drivers, circa 1900-1910.

An airplane float, 1917.

An airplane float, 1917.

A car decorated with flowers, circa 1910-1920.

A car decorated with flowers, circa 1910-1920.

Dorothy McCampbell, Duchess of the Coreopsis, and Margaret Basse, attendant sprite, in the 1925 parade.

Dorothy McCampbell, Duchess of the Coreopsis, and Margaret Basse, attendant sprite, in the 1925 parade.

For information about the Order of the Alamo, see the five volume History of the Order of the Alamo, available at the DRT Library. These books list the officers, directors, and committee members for each year from the organization’s founding in 1909 to 1989. Also included is information about each court selected by the Order of the Alamo, including photographs of each queen, princess, and duchess in her dress.

Click here for a full citation of the documents and images included in this entry.

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