San Jacinto Day Festival, April 18
Battle Reenactment Highlights The Entertainment
The largest battle reenactment in the state will be the centerpiece of the admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto Monument. The reenactment recreates the events leading up to Texas winning its independence from Mexico 179 years ago at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.
The festival is a full day of entertainment, vendors, food, family activities, cultural exhibitors, games and fun set amidst living history: music and dancing on two stages featuring country-western bands, flamenco dancers, Native American presentations, square dancers and much more; 15+ food vendors; make-and-take activities and crafts for children; children’s train; petting zoo; medicine wagon show; birds of prey; weavers, spinners, blacksmiths and other demonstrators; and dozens of unique hand-crafted items for sale.
The celebration caps the 75th Anniversary of the opening of the San Jacinto Monument and Museum.
“We are so proud to continue to present this festival with free admission, free shuttles and free parking to the public, and it would not be possible without our presenting sponsor H-E-B, as well as The Dow Chemical Company, Vopak, Pasadena Strawberry Festival, CenterPoint Energy and LyondellBasell,” says Larry Spasic, San Jacinto Museum of History President.
The event is coordinated by the San Jacinto Museum of History Association with the assistance of Texas Parks & Wildlife and the San Jacinto Volunteers reenactors.
San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment
On Saturday, visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian camps of the reenactors to learn what the soldiers and their families were doing prior to the battle in 1836 as the reenactors become figures in history for the weekend. At 3 p.m., the official (and historically accurate) reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto begins. With hundreds of history reenactors — complete with cannons, horses, women, children and pyrotechnics — it is the largest in southwest United States.
All festival activities are updated continually on the San Jacinto Museum of History website at sanjacinto-museum.org.
Entertaining and educational activities scheduled include:
- Dan Barth will use his Medicine Show Wagon to tell the tales of special 19th century cure-all elixirs, and entertain with a little magic.
- Last Chance Forever, The Birds of Prey Conservancy and its magnificent birds including hawks, owls, eagles, falcons and vultures.
- K.R. Wood (Camp Cookie) will bring history to life through songs and tales with Chuck Wagon of Texas History, complete with Dutch oven demonstrations, samples, roping steer head demonstrations, stick horse relay races, and historical stories about the Texas Revolutions and the cattle drives.
- Texas Snakes – a fun and hands-on educational show for all ages features many different species of non-venomous indigenous snakes of Texas for the children to view and touch. Emphasis is teaching about the environment and how snakes/reptiles provide their part for the balance of nature.
- Blacksmiths, weavers, spinners and other demonstrators will give visitors a full sense of life in the early 1800s. Sutlers (civilians who sold provisions to military posts) will be on hand to sell or show their wares.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will offer archery classes for young people.
- Visitors can also see the restored marshlands and look for otters, great blue herons, osprey, mottled ducks and American avocets. The marsh is historically important because it barred the escape of many of General Santa Anna’s troops during the 1836 battle.
- Members of the San Jacinto Descendants, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Sons of the Republic of Texas, as well as representatives from the Texas General Land Office and the Texas Independence Trail Region, will be on hand to share their history.
- Texas Independence Square Dancers — square dancers from various groups throughout Texas — will demonstrate square dancing and give lessons.
The Children’s Area includes:
- A 55-foot train complete with train whistle and Texan and American flags.
- Make-and-take history activities and crafts created by Gifted/Talented specialists from Deer Park ISD; overseen by volunteer DPISD teachers and student volunteers from San Jacinto College.
- Marsha’s Petting Zoo with sheep, goats and other friendly small animals.
- Sandbox Dig created by the San Jacinto College.
The San Jacinto Monument is open all day. Visitors can ride the elevator to the top for a panoramic view of the festivities, explore the special exhibit, watch a Texas history movie and tour the hundreds of museum pieces on display. There are modest admission fees for the elevator ride, digital presentation and special exhibit inside the Monument. For more information, visit the website and Facebook or call 281-479-2421.
San Jacinto Day Festival, April 18