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Texas Independence Day Celebration

 

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Celebrate Texas Independence Day
on the very spot Where Texas Became Texas

Experience Texas of the 1830s at two-day event

Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, 2015
10 am to 5 pm

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick will speak on Sunday, March 1

 

All Texans (natural born and adopted alike) are invited to a Texas-sized 179th birthday celebration at the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site--the very spot “Where Texas Became Texas.” It was there, on March 2, 1836, where 59 delegates bravely met at Washington, Texas to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico. From 1836 until 1846, the Republic of Texas proudly existed as a separate nation.

“Texas Independence Day Celebration” is an annual two-day celebration on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, 2015 on the expansive 293-acre park grounds of the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Sit, between Brenham and Navasota—and less than 90 minutes from Houston. The weekend birthday celebration features live music, traditional crafts, living history presentations, keynote address by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, firing demonstrations, historical encampments and commemorative programs.

This year, several 7th grade students will be selected to lay a wreath at the site’s “Texas Independence Monument” next to Independence Hall on Saturday morning to kick off the programs. The students were chosen based on a Texas-related written essay.

Guests will step back into history at this state park to experience life in Texas in 1836 by visiting with reenactors; witnessing firing demonstrations in the Texas Army camps; viewing demonstrations of cooking, weaving and period crafts; and walking the same trail as Texas’ forefathers and pioneer families. Texas musicians will provide musical entertainment, including the North Harris County Dulcimers, the Lone Star String Band, which plays old-time music and “old fiddle tunes and songs,” the Star of Texas Dulcimers, and the Great American Medicine Show featuring Professor Farquar and his “historic narratives, comic chronicles, tall tales, unabashed balderdash and the greatest songs of the 19th century.” Food vendors will offer a variety of items for sale throughout the event. Visitors can bring picnics and are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. However, state park rules apply; alcohol is prohibited.

The featured exhibit at the Star of the Republic Museum—Enduring Spirit: African Americans in 19th Century Texas—opens on Feb. 1, 2015 and runs for a year. Artifacts on display will include typical documents of the period such as slave records, freedmen contracts and an oath of allegiance. Stoneware pottery made at the Wilson Pottery near Seguin, the first African American business in Texas, will be exhibited as well as an example of the intricate and difficult Pine Burr pattern quilt.

The three attractions on the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site (WOB)—(Independence Hall, Star of the Republic Museum, and Barrington Living History Farm)—will feature various activities, and all admission and tour fees will be waived during the two-day celebration. Free bus shuttles will run throughout the park on Saturday and Sunday; and—as always—parking and admission to the grounds is free. A free shuttle will also run from the city of Navasota to the park grounds. The shuttle will pick up and drop off at the corner of McAlpine and Railroad, and will run continuously from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday only.

 

Complete list of activities for Saturday, Feb. 28:

• Wreath laying at the Texas Independence Monument (10:15 am): Seventh grade students will lay a wreath at the oldest monument in the park, next to Independence Hall, to kick off the weekend. Since the monument is the first permanent marker (1899/1900) of the events that took place on this spot, and because it was largely due to the efforts of school children, WOB will recognize their efforts with a brief ceremony.  By inviting children to play a key role in the program, WOB hopes to foster a deeper appreciation in the young generation about events that occurred in the place they call home.

• Firing demonstrations, musket and artillery at Texas Army camp (10:45 am & 3:45 pm – approximately 20 minutes each): Visitors will learn how black powder small arms and artillery are loaded, fired and maintained through interpretive programming. Watch from a safe distance, hear the crack of rifle fire and musketry, and feel the rumble of artillery just as Texian soldiers would have during the war for independence.

• Craft vendors, demonstrators, and musicians (ongoing from 10 am to 5 pm): Stroll through the park and the Museum to enjoy the many craftsmen demonstrating skills and crafts of the period. Enjoy music from one of the many bands offering up the finest in period appropriate music as well as modern favorites at various locations and times throughout the weekend.

• Independence Hall Tours (11 a.m., 1, 2, 3 & 4 pm approximately 30-45 minutes each): Visitors will have a chance to tour the exact replica of Independence Hall and hear the story of those courageous men that signed the Texas Declaration of Independence during that important 17-day convention in 1836. Visitors should meet just inside the back entrance of the Visitors Center approximately five to ten minutes prior to the scheduled tour time. The tours are free.

• Entertainment at the amphitheater includes:
   • 11 am & 2 pm – Professor Farquar’s Medicine Show
   • 12 pm & 3 pm – Lone Star String Band
   • 1 pm – North Harris County Dulcimers (Saturday only)
   • Texas Heroes Living History at the Star of Republic Museum Theater (first-person stage
    performances as these Texas heroes):
   • 11 am – Col. James Bowie
   • 1:30 pm – Susannah Dickinson
   • 3:30 pm – General Sam Houston

• Booksignings in the Visitor Center and Tasting; all books for sale in Gift Shop:
   • 10 am – 5 pm - Author Laurie Cockerell—dressed in period clothing—will sign copies of her children’s
    book Magnificent Sam: The Amazing Adventures of Sam Houston
   • 10 am – 5 pm Author Garlyn Webb Wilburn will sign copies of his children’s book The Donkey Boy
    and his book for adults Father Forgive Them, The Rachel Plummer Story
   • 1 - 5 pm Author Sharon Brass will sign copies of her book The Burning of Brenham.
   • 1 - 5 pm Herald Bentley Green will offer tastings from his Bentley’s Batch 5 barbecue sauce line
    (all varieties sold in Gift Shop)

 

Complete list of activities for Sunday, March 1:

• Masonic Flag Raising Ceremony (10 am) - The Texas flag will be ceremonially raised by Masonic members of the Lone Star Commandery #114 from North Zulch, Texas.

• Firing demonstrations, musket and artillery at Texas Army Camp (10:30 am & 12 pm – approximately 20 minutes each): Visitors will learn how black powder small arms and artillery are loaded, fired and maintained through interpretive programming. Watch from a safe distance, hear the crack of rifle fire and musketry, and feel the rumble of artillery just as Texian soldiers would have during the war for independence.

• Craft vendors, demonstrators, and musicians (ongoing from 10 am to 5 pm): Stroll through the park and the Museum to enjoy the many craftsmen demonstrating skills and crafts of the period. Enjoy music from one of the many bands offering up the finest in period appropriate music as well as modern favorites at various locations and times throughout the weekend.

• Descendants of Signers Reunion: Doors open to the Conference Center at 10 am with lunch at 11:30 am and program at 12:15. This is an opportunity for descendants to meet other descendants. Reservations are required by filling out form on Museum website at www.starmuseum.org. Descendants’ souvenirs will be available.

• Independence Hall Tours (11 a.m., 1, 2, 3 & 4 pm approximately 30-45 minutes each): Visitors will have a chance to tour the exact replica of Independence Hall and hear the story of those courageous men that signed the Texas Declaration of Independence during that important 17-day convention in 1836. Visitors should meet just inside the back entrance of the Visitors Center approximately five to ten minutes prior to the scheduled tour time.

• Booksignings and Tastings in the Visitor Center; all books for sale in Gift Shop:
   • 10 am – 5 pm - Author Laurie Cockerell—dressed in period clothing—will sign copies of her children’s
    book Magnificent Sam: The Amazing Adventures of Sam Houston. Illustrator Travis Dougherty
    will join her on Sunday.
   • 10 am – 5 pm – Author Garlyn Webb Wilburn will sign copies of his children’s book The Donkey Boy
    and his book for adults Father Forgive Them, The Rachel Plummer Story
   • 1 - 5 pm – Author Sharon Brass will sign copies of her book The Burning of Brenham
   • 1 - 5 pm – Herald Bentley Green will offer tastings from his Bentley’s Batch 5 barbecue sauce line
    (all varieties sold in Gift Shop)
   • 1 – 5 pm – Author Martha Jones will sign copies of her books The Great Texas Scare: A Story of the Runaway Scrape; The Ghost at the Old Stone Fort; The Mystery of Y’Barbo’s Tunnel; Terror from the Gulf: A Hurricane in Galveston; and Red Calico- Traded for Young Girl.

• Texas Heroes Living History at the Museum Theater:
   • 11 am – Col. James Bowie
   • 12:30 pm – Susannah Dickinson
   • 3:30 pm – General Sam Houston

• Entertainment and Ceremonies at the amphitheater:
   • 11 am & 3 pm – Professor Farquar’s Medicine Show
   • 12:30 pm – Lone Star String Band
   •1:30 pm – Texas State Senator Lois Kolkhorst will introduce Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick,
    who will deliver a short keynote address, followed by the Signers of the Declaration Roll Call
    and a giant Texas-shaped birthday cake, for all to enjoy.

Independence Hall, Barrington Living History Farm and the WOB Visitor Center are all administered—along with the parklands—by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD); the Star of the Republic Museum is administered by Blinn College.

This event is made possible by ExxonMobil, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op, the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley, the City of Brenham, the City of Navasota, Brenham/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Blinn College, KTEX 106 Sounds Like Texas, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Washington on the Brazos State Park Association.

More detailed information on the weekend’s festivities will be continually updated at www.wheretexasbecametexas.org; the public can also call (936) 878-2214 or email office@wheretexasbecametexas.org for more information. For lodging information, please contact the Brenham Visitor Center at www.visitbrenhamtexas.com/ or 1-888-BRENHAM, or the City of Navasota at 936-825-7055 or www.navasotatx.gov.

TIDC flyer < Download a TIDC Flyer
   which includes a schedule and map.

 

RECAP

WHEN: Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 10 am to 5 pm

WHERE: Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site, located on the Brazos River at the original townsite of Washington, Texas, a major political and commercial center in early Texas.  It is located at 23400 Park Road 12, Washington, TX, 77880—approximately halfway between Brenham and Navasota, off of State Hwy. 105. From Hwy. 105, follow either FM 912 or FM 1155 to Park Road 12. 

COST: For the TIDC weekend, tour/admission fees are waived for the Star of the Republic Museum, Independence Hall and Barrington Living History Farm. Parking and shuttle are free; a free shuttle will run to and from city of Navasota on Saturday, Feb 28.

 

Summary:
The “Texas Independence Day Celebration” is a two-day celebration on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 10 am to 5 pm on the expansive 293-acre park grounds of the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site. At the site where 59 delegates bravely met in 1836 to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico, this is truly ”Where Texas Became Texas.”

The birthday celebration features live music, food, traditional crafts, living history presentations, firing demonstrations, historical encampments, keynote address from Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and commemorative programs. Admission fees are waived for the site’s attractions (Independence Hall, Star of the Republic Museum, and Barrington Living History Farm) during the TIDC weekend celebration.

Admission to the grounds, shuttle service and parking are also free.
This state park is located at 23400 Park Road 12 in Washington, Texas—midway between Brenham and Navasota, off of state Hwy 105.

More detailed information on the weekend’s festivities and directions please contact (936) 878-2214, or office@wheretexasbecametexas.org

 

Visit our monthly Event Calendar and our Special Events page for upcoming events.

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