What’s all the fuss about Cornyation, arguably the raunchiest annual celebration event that is holding its 50th anniversary at San Antonio’s Fiesta this year? This year promises to go down in history as one of the craziest with the first ever crowning of two King Anchovies. Michael Bobo and Wayne Beers, owners of the W.D. Deli restaurant, will be reigning over the six shows during the three evenings of April 19 to 21, 2016 at the Charline McCombs Empire Theater in downtown San Antonio.
Since 1951, the “show’s irreverent pokes at politicians, the prominent and the not-so-prominent caused its demise as part of NIOSA in 1964,” states the Cornyation website. “It was moved and performed once more in 1965. The show was revived in 1979 for one year as part of NIOSA and then in 1982 Bob Jolly and Ray Chavez revived the current version which has remained uninterrupted for 32 years!”
Cornyation 2016 will feature entertainment from soul singer Nakia on Tuesday. Nakia’s rendition of “Forget You” earned him a place on CeeLo Green’s team on NBC’s The Voice and quickly catapulted him as a favorite. On Wednesday singer Alyson Alonzo will perform.
Since the famous 1836 Battle of the Alamo with Colonel Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, San Antonians have maintained a sturdy historical record for strong enthusiasm for their passions. Recall the zealous efforts of architect Robert H. Hugman and the San Antonio Conservation Society who saved the beautiful River Walk from becoming a covered drainage ditch in the late 1920s. Consider the 10,000-plus rock n’ roll fans who spent the night practically surrounding the old Hemisfair Arena in the summer of 1976 waiting in line for tickets to an August Elvis Presley concert a month later. Each Easter, select families traditionally stake out their favorite spots in Brackenridge Park with tents and lawn chairs to reserve their place days in advance of the holiday weekend.
On March 27, 2012, at 6:45 am, fans made history as they waited in line 75 hours and 15 minutes for tickets to that year’s Cornyation shows. They wanted to be first in line for tickets to Fiesta San Antonio’s most “raunchiest and cheapest’ event, Cornynation. A group of at least 50 fans called themselves the “Majestic Cornyation Campers,” donning their own Fiesta medals and carrying annual traditions, would camping out in sleeping bags, law chairs and other gear to wait in line in front of the Majestic Theater Box Office.
Rick Bustos and Ralph Rodriguez, who had been first in line since 2010, were determined to arrive early because “there is almost a 100 percent guarantee we will get tickets” to the last performance “the show which is the show everyone wants to see.”
Although tickets are not purchased through the same process and the days of camping are our memories, the enthusiasm and comradery of the people and acquaintances has not faltered.
“Every year they they spoof something different locally and nationally,” Bustos explained the lure of Cornyation.
“It’s just fun and total entertainment and that last show they go all out,” added Rodriguez.
Previous records for waiting in line for the Cornyation tickets were set by the Rodriguez-Bustos duo in 2011 when they waited 62 hours and 20 minutes. In 2010 they broke the previous record when they arrived 40 hours before the ticket box opened.