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April 4, 2005
San Jacinto Day Festival, Battle Re-Enactment Will Be April 23
LA PORTE, Texas – The San Jacinto Day Festival will be held April 23 to celebrate the 169th anniversary of the battle that earned Texas’ independence from Mexico in 1836.
The historic Battle of San Jacinto will be commemorated with a two-hour re-enactment, complete with hundreds of uniform-clad, musket-toting performers re-creating everything from the Runaway Scrape — when Texian settlers fled to the east to escape advancing Mexican troops — to the surrender of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to Gen. Sam Houston and his troops on April 21, 1836.
The Saturday festival lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission to the San Jacinto Monument and the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is free. It takes place on the original site of the battle, 22 miles east of downtown Houston. The re-enactment begins at 3 p.m. Lawn chairs and blankets will be allowed.
In addition to the battle, visitors can freely explore both Mexican and Texian “camps” and learn about military and civilian life during the 1830s.
Horses, cannons, pyrotechnics, and narration will also be part of the performance. Vendors, known as “sutlers” in the 1800s when they sold their products at military posts, will be on hand throughout the grounds to sell and demonstrate their goods for the public.
Other events during this year’s festival include master symphony musician Dean Shostak playing a fiddle purportedly owned by Davy Crockett, history activities and crafts for children, and a dig site hosted by the Houston Archeological Society, where visitors can search for artifacts. Children can also participate in 1830s games.
Historian Dan Barth will host a performance with audience participation using a full-sized antique medicine show wagon, and revisionist historian Jim Crisp will discuss the “true identity” of the Yellow Rose of Texas.
Texas-style foods and beverages will be offered for sale at the park. K. R. Woods and the Fathers of Texas Band will provide period musical entertainment. Parking is available, with shuttle buses transporting park visitors from designated areas throughout the day.
On April 21, state Rep. Wayne Smith will be the keynote speaker at the traditional San Jacinto Day ceremony to be held at 11 a.m. on the steps of the San Jacinto Monument. Ron Stone will serve as the master of ceremonies.
In conjunction with the festival, the Battle of San Jacinto Symposium will be held on April 16 at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in Houston. Several speakers will lecture on various topics related to this turning point in Texas history. The symposium lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with on-site registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. For more information on the symposium, call (281) 496-1488.
The festival is hosted by Kirby Corp., the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the San Jacinto Volunteers.
For more information, please call (281) 479-2421.
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