Celebrate Texas Independence Day on the Very Spot Where Texas Became Texas

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Experience Texas of the 1830s at a two-day event at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Park.

Where Texas Became Texas

All Texans (natural born, and those that got here as soon as they could) are invited to a Texas-sized 178th birthday celebration on the very spot “where Texas became Texas” in 1836 when 59 delegates bravely met to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico.

“Texas Independence Day Celebration” is a two-day celebration on Saturday March 1 and Sunday, March 2, 2014 on the expansive 293-acre park grounds of the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site between Brenham and Navasota. The birthday celebration features live music, food, traditional crafts, living history presentations, firing demonstrations, historical encampments and commemorative programs—all with no park entrance or parking fees.

Guests will step back into history to experience life in Texas in 1836 by visiting with reenactors and witnessing firing demonstrations in the Texas Army camps as well as a virtual townsite tour. Attendees can walk the same trail as Texas’ forefathers and pioneer families, and witness cooking, weaving and period craft demonstrations.

Texas singer/songwriter Brian Burns, Celtaire String Band and the Texian String Band will provide musical entertainment at the event. The 2014 recipient of The Daughters of The American Revolution Texas State Media Award, Burns is regarded as one of Texas’ top performing songwriters, and his work has been covered by a number of legendary artists. “One of the state's most powerful and engaging performers, Burns’ songs explore the personal, the historical, and the humorous, drawing out the things we’ve all felt and wish we could have said. The warmth, wit, and eclecticism of his performances captivate audiences night after night.” More information on Burns can be found at http://www.brianburnsmusic.com. The Celtaire String Band specializes in playing period Americana music on acoustic instruments such as the fiddle, pennywhistle, guitar, mandolin, vocals, banjo, "bass-box," tambourine, autoharp, spoons, scrub-board and limberjacks while dressed in period clothing from the 1800s. The Texian String Band will be playing music that would have been played on the Texas frontier and heard in Washington around the time of the revolution.

A Texas State Park, the site’s three attractions (Independence Hall, Star of the Republic Museum, and Barrington Living History Farm) will feature special activities during the March celebration. The admission fees for the Museum and Farm will be waived during the celebration weekend. The Hall is always open free of charge; however, there is a modest fee for a guided program at the Hall.

That weekend, the Star of the Republic Museum, which is administered by Blinn College, will open its new exhibit “Weather Wisdom: Forecasting in the Texas Republic.” Included in the exhibit will be an assortment of 19th century scientific instruments used to measure wind velocity, atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity. The 19th century is seen as a transitional period from the use of weather lore (e.g. “when a whirlwind spins to the right, it means dry weather”) to the systematic collection of weather data. The exhibit will run through February 2015.

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, Blinn College, KTEX 106 Sounds Like Texas, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Washington on the Brazos State Park Association.

More detailed information on the festivities planned for March 1 and 2 will be continually updated at http://www.birthplaceoftexas.com; the public can also call (936) 878-2214 or email Scott.Mcmahon(at)tpwd.texas(dot)gov for more information. For lodging information, please contact the Brenham Visitor Center at http://www.visitbrenhamtexas.com/ or 1-888-BRENHAM, or the City of Navasota at 936-825-7055 or http://www.navasotatx.gov.

When: Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site, located at 23400 Park Road 12 in Washington, Texas, off State Hwy. 105 on FM 1155 (between Brenham and Navasota—approximately one hour northwest of Houston).

Cost:     The celebration, as well as parking and admission to the parks’ three attractions (Independence Hall, Star of the Republic Museum, and Barrington Living History Farm) are free; there is a modest fee for a guided program at Independence Hall.

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