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TPWD News Release — April 7, 2008

Re-enactment of Battle of San Jacinto, Festival Slated for April 26

LA PORTE, Texas — The San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Re-enactment on Saturday, April 26, celebrate Texas’ independence won at the famous Battle of San Jacinto.

The admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the San Jacinto Monument on the 1,200-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. There will be a full day of music, entertainment, food, games and fun set amidst living history.

On April 21, 1836 — in 18 short minutes — Gen. Sam Houston led his Texian soldiers to victory over the Mexican Army, officially securing Texas’ independence from Mexico and leading to the addition of one million square miles of territory to the United States.

Each year on April 21 the official State of Texas ceremony marking the anniversary date of the San Jacinto Battle takes place at 11 a.m. on the steps of the San Jacinto Monument. The commemorative ceremony is open to the public.

Also, at 9:30 a.m., the Battleship Texas Foundation will stage a small ceremony aboard Battleship TEXAS to commemorate the ship’s being moored at the San Jacinto Battleground for 60 years.

The April 26 Battle of San Jacinto re-enactment — one of the largest in the state — recreates one of the most important battles of American history. The day’s most popular event begins at 3 p.m., complete with thundering cannons, musket fire, horses, pyrotechnics and hundreds of re-enactors.

The re-enactment replicates the Runaway Scrape (Texians gathering the few belongings they could to flee the advancing forces of Santa Anna), the march of the Texas army from Gonzales to San Jacinto, the resulting cannon duel, and the final battle between the two forces. Mexican Army Gen. Santa Anna’s surrender to Texian Army Gen. Sam Houston completes the re-enactment. A laying of wreaths to honor the sacrifices of both armies follows.

The festival celebrates this special day in Texas history with entertaining and educational activities:

During the day visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian military camps to learn what the soldiers of that day were doing prior to the battle and to see how civilians lived in 1836. Visitors will learn how to perform the close-order drills of the day and a few lucky children will be part of the cannon crew.

The historically accurate encampments and the Battle Reenactment are presented by hundreds of members of the San Jacinto Volunteers and other living history organizations from across the state.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to the festival and re-enactment.

"Each year we work hand in hand with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to coordinate this event," said Larry Spasic, president of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association. "This year members of the 1st Battalion Texas Maritime Regiment (TMAR) of the Texas State Guard will assist us."

Visitors enjoy free admission to the festival, battle re-enactment and the exhibit in the Monument lobby. For a modest fee, festival goers can take the famous 489-foot elevator ride to the top of the Monument and enjoy the digital presentation "Texas Forever!!: The Battle of San Jacinto." Combo tickets can be purchased: $12 for adults, $8 for children. Fees for the Battleship TEXAS are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for school and youth groups with a reservation; children 12 and younger are free.

The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is located 22 miles southeast of downtown Houston. To reach the site, take State Highway 225 east to Battleground Road north, approximately three miles from the freeway.

For more information about the San Jacinto Museum of History or the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Re-enactment, please call (281) 479-2421. For more information on the Battleship TEXAS, please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (281) 479-2431.

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