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TPWD News Release — April 4, 2012
San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment Set April 21
Battle recognized as one of the top ten battles of the world to change history
LA PORTE – Houston, TX — Booming cannons, cracking musket fire, thundering hooves and battle cries will resound across the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site on Saturday, April 21, as hundreds of history re-enactors recreate the events leading up to Texas winning its independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto.
This dramatic battle re-enactment is the centerpiece of the admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival, that takes place 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 Department 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, which is the most popular event of the day, begins at 3 p.m. Presented by hundreds of members of the San Jacinto Volunteers and other living history organizations from across the state, the re-enactment dramatizes the decisive battle where Gen. Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army, eventually leading to almost 1 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 Mexican Gen. Santa Anna), the cannon duel and the final battle between the two forces. General Houston will be played by his descendent, Sam Houston IV.
“It is so important to our mission that we are able to present this living, dynamic reenactment of Texas history for free, and that would not be possible without our chief sponsor H-E-B, as well as The Dow Chemical Company, Vopak, Pasadena Strawberry Festival, and Lyondell Basell,” 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 and La Porte EMS.”
All festival activities are updated continually on the San Jacinto Museum of History website at www.sanjacinto-museum.org. Some of the entertainment and educational activities will include:
- New this year: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Blacksmiths, weavers, spinners, quilters 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. The Tiny Town Texas display shows how towns were laid out in the 1800s.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will offer free 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.
- For a slight charge, festival goers can view the Making a Mark, Leaving a Legacy exhibit in the Monument looks at the tools that have traditionally been used to make a mark, the people that have left a mark on our region, and the symbols that our predecessors used to convey important ideas and concepts.
- Monument visitors can take the famous 489-foot elevator ride to the top of the Monument; enjoy the digital presentation Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto; and view the museum’s latest exhibit Making a Mark, Leaving a Legacy. Combo tickets for the elevator ride, the exhibit and movie can be purchased for $12 for adults, $10.50 for seniors, $8 for children.
- 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—sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company and Deer Park ISD—includes:
- A 55’ train complete with train whistle and Texan and American flags.
- Make-and-take history activities and crafts created by Gifted/Talented specialists from Deer Park ISD; overseen by volunteer teachers from DPISD and student volunteers from San Jacinto College.
- The Houston ZooMobile with animals native to Texas, interesting demonstrations and nature games.
- Marsha’s Petting Zoo with sheep, goats and other friendly small animals.
- Armand Bayou Nature Center with crafts and games from the 1800s.
- 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.