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San Jacinto Festival, Battle Re-enactment Set for April 20
Event to Mark 177th Anniversary of Texas Independence
LAPORTE – Hundreds of history re-enactors will recreate the events leading up to the Battle of San Jacinto that won Texas its independence with booming cannons, cracking musket fire, thundering hooves and battle cries at San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site on Saturday, April 20.
The dramatic battle re-enactment takes place at 3 p.m. Saturday and serves as the centerpiece of the admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival, being held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto Monument. Sponsored by the San Jacinto Museum of History, Texas Parks & Wildlife and the San Jacinto Volunteers, the festival is a full day of music, entertainment, food, games and fun set amidst living history.
The battle re-enactment, the largest in the state, is presented by hundreds of members of the San Jacinto Volunteers and other living history organizations from across the state. It dramatizes the decisive battle in which Gen. Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army to form an independent Republic of Texas, eventually leading to Texas statehood and almost one million square miles of Mexican territory becoming a part of the United States. The re-enactors will dramatically interpret the Runaway Scrape (Texians fleeing from the advancing forces of Santa Anna), the cannon duel and the final battle between the two forces.
“Presenting this living, dynamic reenactment of Texas history for free, would not be possible without our presenting sponsor H-E-B, as well as The Dow Chemical Company, Vopak, Pasadena Strawberry Festival and LyondellBasell,” says Larry Spasic, San Jacinto Museum of History President. “Just as important are our partners who help us coordinate this event, including the volunteers from San Jacinto College, Deer Park ISD, Hampton Inn & Suites Deer Park, San Jacinto Volunteers and La Porte EMS.”
All festival activities are updated continually on the San Jacinto Museum of History website at http://www.sanjacinto-museum.org. Entertaining and educational activities scheduled include:
- Solero Flamenco presents a “fiery, passionate and virtuoso flamenco performance,” led by founders Irma La Paloma and Jeremías García.
- Last Chance Forever, The Birds of Prey Conservancy, shows its magnificent birds including hawks, owls, eagles, falcons and vultures.
- Dan Barth will use his Medicine Show Wagon to tell the tales of special 19th century cure-all elixirs, and entertain with a little magic.
- New this year: Mary L. Kelley Scheer—an author and professor at Lamar University—will present a talk on “The Women at San Jacinto” at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Monument’s theatre.
- New this year: Rocking T Chuck Wagon: Featured on a Food Network special from the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso, N.M., the Rocking T chuck wagon competes in events throughout Texas and the Southwest.
- Nonstop entertainment on the Main stage with Galveston’s Brandon McDermott playing their brand of lively Texas/Red Dirt Music; the Lunar Rollers out of Austin playing Americana, rock and country; and San Jacinto Day Festival favorite Liz Talley & Texas Swing sharing their pure country, honkytonk and great Texas shuffle music.
- The Celtaire String Band performs Americana period music using a variety of instruments including the fiddle, penny whistle, guitar, mandolin, spoons, scrub-board and limberjacks.
- Blacksmiths, weavers, spinners and other demonstrators will give visitors a full sense of how life was in the early 1800s. Sutlers (civilians who sold provisions to military posts) will be on hand to sell or show their wares.
- Visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian camps of the re-enactors to learn what the soldiers of that day were doing prior to the battle in 1836.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will offer archery classes for young people
- Visitors can also visit the restored marshlands and look for otters, great blue herons, osprey, mottled ducks and American avocets. The marsh is historically important because it barred the escape of many of General Santa Anna’s troops during the 1836 battle.
- Texas Independence Square Dancers—square dancers from various groups throughout Texas—will demonstrate square dancing and give lessons.
- Visitors can browse through the vendor area to admire unique hand-crafted items, Texas products and history-related items.
- Festival goers can view the latest lobby exhibit “Measure This!” – an exhibit that features measurement systems that have historically been used in America and literally shaped everyday objects.
- Battleship TEXAS, the first battleship memorial museum in the U.S., is located in the park and open for visitors. Fees for the Battleship TEXAS are $12 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for school and youth groups with a reservation, and free for children 12 and younger.
The Children’s Area will includes a 55-foot train flying Texas and U.S. flags, a petting zoo, archeological dig and crafts areas created by gifted-talented specialists from Deer Park Independent School District. In the military camps, a few lucky children will be chosen to stand with the cannon crew and pretend to load the cannons and will be presented with cannon soot to wear on their noses as a badge of honor.
The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is located just 22 miles east of downtown Houston. Take Highway 225 east to Independence Parkway north and continue for three miles.
Do not take the ferry on I-10 because only one ferry is operating right now and the wait will be lengthy. Parking is not being allowed at the battlegrounds this year, so visitors should park at the first marked parking lot they come to and take a shuttle to the festival.
For more information about the San Jacinto Museum of History or the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Re-enactment, call (281) 479.2421 or visit www.sanjacinto-museum.org. For more information on the Battleship TEXAS, please contact the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department at (281479.2431.
NOTE: Media should contact Dianne Powell at 210-887-8777 for photos, advance interviews, media parking passes, etc.
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