San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment
Festival celebrates 170th anniversary of battle
The San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment on Saturday, April 22, 2006 is an independence celebration of Texas' legendary Battle of San Jacinto and the enduring, mythic spirit of Texas. The Festival is a full day of music, entertainment, food, games, and fun set amidst living history.
The Battle Reenactment is one of the largest in the state, complete with cannons, muskets, horses, pyrotechnics and hundreds of reenactors, dressed in uniforms that duplicate the real dress of the day. The reenactment includes the Runaway Scrape; the march of the Texas army from Gonzales to San Jacinto; the cannon duel that occurred on April 20, 1836; the final battle between the two forces; the surrender of Santa Anna to Houston; and finally, the laying of wreaths to honor the sacrifices of both armies, all narrated by Carl Hacker, PhD, J.D. (Note: Women and children will depict the hardships experienced by those Texians who, with their husbands and fathers at war, gathered the few belongings they could to flee the advancing forces of General Santa Anna in what became known as the Runaway Scrape.)
Visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian camps to learn what the soldiers of the day were doing prior to the battle and to see how the fleeing civilians lived at that time. In the military camps, lucky visitors can learn how to perform close order drills of the day. A few children will be chosen to stand with the cannon crew and pretend to load the cannons. Once accomplished, they will be presented with cannon soot to wear on their noses the rest of the day as a badge of honor.
And all of the celebration takes place on the very grounds of the original Battle of San Jacinto--one of the most important battles of American history. In 18 short minutes, on April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to a decisive victory over the Mexican Army, officially securing Texas' independence from Mexico and leading to the addition of one million square miles to the United States.
The San Jacinto Day Festival occurs on Saturday, April 22, 2006 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on the 1,200-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site at One Monument Circle, La Porte (22 miles east of downtown Houston.) The Battle Reenactment starts at 3 p.m.
Interesting components of the Festival include:
Volunteer reenactors come from the San Antonio Living History Association, Primer Batallon de México, Texas Army, Wharton County Time Walkers, Cross Roads Living History and the Alamo Legends & Missions Association (A.L.M.A.)
Make-and take history activities and crafts for children will be available created by three Gifted/Talented specialists from Deer Park ISD. Volunteers from the Armand Bayou Nature Center will conduct games from the 1830s in the Children's Area. The San Jacinto Descendants, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Sons of the Republic of Texas will also have a booth with children's activities.
The children will love to ride the 55-foot long train complete with train whistle and Texan and American flags.
Visitors can hunt for artifacts at a dig site hosted by the Houston & Texas Archeological Society.
The Houston Zoomobile will be on the grounds with native Texas animals and other interesting facts to show.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department experts will offer guided tours of the restored marshlands and answer questions about the wildlife inhabiting the park.
Instead of 1836 fare such as possum and cornmeal mush, the Texas-style food and beverages offered for sale will be more pleasing to today's palates.
Sutlers (civilians who sold provisions to military posts) will be on hand to sell or show their wares. Blacksmiths and other demonstrators will give visitors a full sense of how life was in the early 1800s.
Texas Independence Dancers--square dancers from various groups throughout Texas--will demonstrate square dancing and give lessons.
Last Chance Forever demonstrates magnificent birds of prey, such as hawks, owls, eagles, falcons and vultures.
Robert Wanat will show his cattle brands display on cowhide and Southwest Dairy will bring its mobile dairy classroom out to the field.
Entertainers will perform before and after the Battle Reenactment. A variety of live music will be presented from bands including Posse Band, Patrick Murphy and Murphy's Law, KR Woods, Cory McCauley and his Evangeline Aces, the Six Gun Band, and the CELTAIRE String Band.
Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to the Festival and Reenactment. The San Jacinto Museum of History Association, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the San Jacinto Volunteers host this annual event. And, in keeping with Texas' generous tradition, admission to the Festival is free.
On the same day as the Festival - April 22 - the City of La Porte is sponsoring its first Battle of San Jacinto Triathlon, consisting of International Distance Triathlon, Duathlon and an Aquabike--all sanctioned by USA Triathlon. The races begin at Sylvan Beach Park and finish at the San Jacinto Monument. More details can be found at www.ontheruntx.com.
For information about the battleship and park, telephone 281.479.2431. For more information about the San Jacinto Museum of History or the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment, please call 281.479.2421 or visit www.sanjacinto-museum.org.
Dianne Powell, Marketing Coordinator
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