SAN ANTONIO – Show me your shoes!
It’s a time-honored tradition for Fiesta royalty to lift up the long gowns and show off their bedazzled boots and frilly flip-flops.
This Princess gets a kick out of them.
“You’re in this nice dress, you just want to show off your shoes!” Order of the Alamo Princess Caroline Peacock says.
“I am clown! I am clown,” a court jester says. He says his toe-tappers give him fancy footwork.
“It’s like walking in a field of flowers for this great day,” Louise Scanlon says, pointing to her floral sandals.
The Order of the Alamo even managed to find a pair fit for a queen.
"I just got them like this so I was lucky!" Queen Kahler Elizabeth Biedenharn says about her decorated boots.
The signs are everywhere: “Show me your shoes!” It’s a Fiesta motto that makes sense, if you think about it.
“It was really hard to wear fancy shoes and be on the floats all day,” Fiesta fan Robert Nelson says.
That’s practical, but Jenny Arangua says the truth is more than 30 years old: she coined the phrase.
"It came out of a tragedy. In 1979, there was a sniper,” Arangua says. “It was chaos taking the girls off the float so the following year, they decided to have them wear shorts and tennis shoes."
As the hairdresser to Fiesta royalty, she knew the secret. So as the parades floated past, she decided to make a poster with an inside joke for her clients.
"I put, 'Show us your shoes.' When my next girl came by, I held it up,” Arangua says. “We'd had so much fun with it that morning, she pulled up her skirt and showed us her sneakers."
Taboo at the time, but it’s a trend that stuck around.
News 4 WOAI’s royalty showed Alanna Sarabia showed off her makeshift moccasins.
"I had my mom go out and buy some balloons and I added it to some sandals I already had. So there are my shoes,” Sarabia says.
Arangua says she’s floored she started a frenzy over Fiesta footwear.
"I don't want money. I don't want my name in lights. A ride on a float might be nice,” Arangua says. “I just want history to be right about show us your shoes."
So let history show that's how it got started. But if you think you know the real story, News 4 WOAI would love to hear it.