Paper records related to Frontier Fiesta, dating from 1941 to 2006. Materials have been arranged by series, and chronologically within each. Materials found in this collection include programs, newspaper clippings, financial records, contracts, applications, rules and regulations, show scripts, correspondence, and photographs.
Series 7 contains digital archival materials produced in 2014.
The original Frontier Fiesta was only presented in 1940 and 1941 and conceived by Dr. Kemmerer, who later became president. The monies raised at the first Fiesta, $2,000, contributed to the construction of a campus recreation building. During World War II Frontier Fiesta took a hiatus, but resumed with vigor in 1946. Frontier Fiesta was held in “Fiesta City,” which was built each year by students. The buildings each housed different productions. Concessions and contests, including a beard growing contest, were also part of the events.
During its heyday Frontier Fiesta would attract as many as 100,000 people to the UH campus including celebrities and visitors from all over the nation. The 1955 Fiesta signed over a check for $106,000 to help pay for the University’s swimming pool. By the early 1950s Frontier Fiesta had been proclaimed as the “Greatest College Show on Earth.”
For a variety of reasons, probably including students missing classes and concerns about budget management, Frontier Fiesta was discontinued after 1959. Although briefly replaced in 1961 by Cougar Capers, it would be 33 years before Frontier Fiesta would return to the University of Houston. In 1992 a group of alumni joined an energetic group of student leaders to resurrect the long-gone tradition. This group along with the University of Houston's Athletic Department brought Fiesta back to the campus where it had begun. Frontier Fiesta celebrates everything that makes the University of Houston important to the Houston community today – the talent and leadership ability of its students, the opportunity to educate Houston’s future leaders, and scholarship opportunities for deserving students.
Digital archival materials can be accessed in the Special Collections Reading Room by advance request. These materials may require up to one week to access. Contact curator Mary Manning (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Digital archival materials acquired 2014.
UH Frontier Fiesta Collection digital collection (http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/p15195coll14)
University of Houston Libraries Special Collections MD Anderson Library 4333 University Drive
UH Frontier Fiesta Collection. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. To cite a specific item from this collection, please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting. See the Citing Special Collections Materials page for more information. https://findingaids.lib.uh.edu/repositories/2/resources/200 Accessed September 30, 2020.