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Media Contact: Rob McCorkle (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Beth Taylor (979) 830-1824 or bethtaylor@birthplaceoftexas.net

Feb. 20, 2007

Two-Day Celebration of 171st Anniversary of Texas Independence Slated for Washington-on-the-Brazos March 3-4

WASHINGTON, Texas — The birthplace of Texas will celebrate the 171st birthday of Texas independence from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3 and 4 at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.

The annual celebration brings Texas alive as the park is transformed into the early 1800s. The transformation is complete with costumed performers, period craft demonstrations, toe-tappin’ Texas music and black-powder gun salutes by the Texas Army.

Highlighting the free, two-day celebration will be a 2 p.m. interactive program featuring noted Texas figures from 1836 and 2007, including U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, state Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst and Sam Houston IV.

Entertainment will be provided by acclaimed Texas singer-songwriter Brian Burns. Burns will perform the state’s top-rated school assembly program, “Once Upon a Time in Texas.” The performer’s engaging repertoire of songs and storytelling brings Texas’ illustrious history, culture and folklore to life.

Houston television personality Ron Stone (Eyes of Texas) will once again emcee the Sunday afternoon ceremony that will conclude with the cutting of Texas’ largest birthday cake for all to enjoy. Food and drink vendors also will be on hand during the two-day event.

The Star of the Republic Museum will feature a special exhibit that includes one of the few remaining printed broadsides of the Texas Declaration of Independence from the University of Texas’ Center for American History. The historic document declaring Texas free from Mexican rule was written in an unfinished, frame building at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March of 1836.

Park visitors can tour a replica of the Independence Hall, replicated on the original cornerstones of the site where the Texas declaration was signed on March 2, 1836. All tour fees and park entry fees are waived during the special weekend. Also open to the public at no cost will be the Barrington Living History Farm, which brings to life a typical 1850s-era farm of the Brazos River valley. The farm contains a number of log and frame buildings, including the original clapboard home of Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas.

The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association sponsors the Texas Independence Day Celebration.

The historic complex is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. Barrington Living History Farm is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. The Star of the Republic Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located off Texas Highway 105 on FM 1155 between Brenham and Navasota, approximately an hour northwest of Houston. For additional details of the weekend celebration, please call (936) 878-2214.

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BT 2007-02-20


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