To create and promote POSITIVE images within our community at-Large, by Fostering the Importance of Self-Image,
the Spirit of Volunteerism,
and the Value of Education through Personal and Benevolent Outreach.
The San Antonio Zulu Association was formally organized in 1976 as a social, civic, non-profit, and benevolent organization. There were ten founding members; and in 1978, the organization was chartered with the State of Texas with twelve signatories.
In 1979, the organization began what eventually became an annual family-style picnic celebrating “Juneteenth” (Texas announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865). The organization held these annual picnics at Carmargo Park (formerly Pablo’s Grove), and gained a faithful following, mainly from military and civilian personnel at Kelly and Lackland Air Force Bases.
The organization also used these picnics as an opportunity to showcase youth groups performing dance, vocal, and other unique talents. For entertainment, DJs and live music along with amusement and novelty vendors for the children were included in the celebration.
As the number of groups hosting Juneteenth activities increased, after 17 years, the organization decided to discontinue their annual event, and in 1982, joined the San Antonio Fiesta Commission as a Participating Member Organization (PMO). What began as “Fiesta West” at Rosedale Park in 1983, turned into “A Taste of New Orleans” in 1985, when the event was relocated to St. Paul Square, near downtown San Antonio. Since that time, this event has risen to become one of the true jewels of Fiesta San Antonio, and is now held annually at the Sunken Garden Theater in Brackenridge Park.