Texas Buffalo Soldiers 20th Anniversary Celebration Kicks Off at Lake Mineral Wells State Park

ent--article_ _media__contact">Media Contact: Luis Padilla, 512-389-8569, luis.padilla@tpwd.texas.gov; Katy Schaffer, 512-389-8046, katy.schaffer@tpwd.texas.gov

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Additional anniversary events on tap at other Texas State Parks in 2016

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AUSTIN – Join Texas Outdoor Family and the Buffalo Soldiers in celebrating the Buffalo Soldiers’ 20th anniversary with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at Lake Mineral Wells State Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14.

To celebrate their historic place in time, the Buffalo Soldiers will set up an authentic campsite at the amphitheater in Lake Mineral Wells State Park. The camp will include hands-on interpretive activities that center around daily life for soldiers and civilians on the Texas Frontier during the late 1800s. Activities will include animal tracking lessons, a frontier baseball game, Buffalo Soldier and Native American history lessons, a cooking camp and more.

The program will also highlight the Iron Riders program, a new guided biking program that tells the story of the 25th Infantry Regiment, one of the original Buffalo Soldier units that pioneered off-road biking in the Army. The ride, which offers three different ride lengths, will follow Lake Mineral Wells State Park’s 18-mile tramway trail.

As part of the celebration, families can register with Texas Outdoor Family to camp at the park for two nights, on Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14. TOF will provide all camping equipment, except blankets, sheets and meals. The cost is $85 per family, which includes up to six individuals. No pets are allowed. Call (512) 389-8903 to register. Click here for more information.

The Buffalo Soldiers were the African-American soldiers who served on the Western frontier from 1866 to 1948, building roads, telegraphs and forts. Some even served as the first national park rangers. Today, the Buffalo Soldiers are a group of reenactors who represent the original soldiers, performing in Texas state parks and encouraging outdoor skills and recreation.

Other 20th anniversary celebrations will happen throughout the year. Lake Brownwood State Park will host a celebration on May 14, 2016. The anniversary open house will feature a full buffalo soldier encampment with storytelling, activities and a recognition ceremony for those who helped the program become what it is today.

All Buffalo Soldiers activities are free, open to the public and available to all ages. For more Buffalo Soldiers events, click here.