Student Pride on Display During Frontier Fiesta

Annual Student Festival Features Concerts, Carnival on Campus

It’s a spring tradition that celebrates Cougar Pride with concerts, a carnival and student performances. Frontier Fiesta is back on the University of Houston campus this week, bringing together students and community members for three days of fun.

The student-run festival will take place Thursday through Saturday, March 24 – 26, in Lots 12A and 12B behind TDECU Stadium. But don’t expect to immediately recognize this area of campus. It will be transformed into Fiesta City, western-themed fairgrounds with food and beverage booths, live entertainment, games and more. This year’s concert headliner is hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, performing at 9 p.m., March 26 on the Bud Light Stage.

Another Frontier Fiesta highlight is the March for Marrow 5K Run and Walk. This event – benefitting the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation – begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 26. Registration (open to the community) and more details are available online.

Throughout the festival, students will showcase their talents in a variety of musical stage shows. Alumni also will put their grilling skills to the test during a barbecue cook-off.

Frontier Fiesta isn’t just about fun and food. The event raises money for UH scholarships. Students work throughout the year to obtain sponsors and generate funds to be applied to University scholarships. The top two fundraisers are named Mr. and Miss Fiesta.

Frontier Fiesta has a rich history as a staple of Cougar culture. The event officially kicked off in 1939 but took a hiatus during World War II. From 1946 to 1959, Frontier Fiesta was in the national spotlight, attracting Hollywood stars such as Humphrey Bogart and James Garner. In 1958, Life magazine proclaimed it “the greatest college show on earth.” Frontier Fiesta was put on hold for several decades and revived in the early 1990s. Since then, the festival has remained one of UH’s most anticipated events. Among the musical stars who have entertained audiences at this event are Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Earl Keen, Los Palominos, T.I. and B.o.B.

Members of the campus and Houston communities can learn more about the history of Frontier Fiesta from a new exhibit at UH’s M.D. Anderson Library. With archival photos and memorabilia, the Frontier Fiesta exhibit is located on the library’s second floor in front of Special Collections.  

For more details on Frontier Fiesta 2016 – including schedules, scholarship donation page, volunteer opportunities and sponsorship information – visit the event’s website.