Texas is turning 180 this year! March 2 marks the 180th Anniversary of Texas declaring its freedom from Mexico by signing the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836. A birthday this big deserves a Texas-sized birthday party and that’s exactly what’s happening all over the state! Here’s a list of the celebrations around Texas you won’t want to miss. And if you’re really in the party mood, you can hit up all of them…
BATTLE OF THE ALAMO 180TH ANNIVERSARY – SAN ANTONIO, TX
When: Feb. 23 – March 6
What: To commemorate the number of days the Alamo was under siege, San Antonio is hosting a 13-day celebration. Everyday, starting Feb. 23, a daily overview of events from letters to historic speeches will be read in front of the Alamo Church at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Additionally, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Living History demonstrations will be performed on the grounds. The celebrations lasting from Feb. 23 – March 6 will include an Alamo Movie Night on Feb. 27, a Dusk at the Alamo Ceremony on Mar. 6 and much more. To view the other events taking place during the Alamo’s 13-day celebration, check out their website: http://www.thealamo.org/index.html.
“RIDE FOR TEXAS FREEDOM” HISTORICAL REENACTMENT
When: Feb. 24 – March 6
What: The Alamo and Washington on the Brazos historical sights are teaming up to retrace the historic “Ride for Texas Freedom” route, commemorating when on Feb. 24, 1836, Courier Albert Martin delivered Alamo commander William B. Travis’s “Victory or Death” letter to the Texas people, pleading for reinforcements at the Battle of the Alamo. The reenactment will begin at the Alamo at 10 a.m. on Feb. 24, as the horsemen are sent off along the historic route through Seguin, Gonzales, Shiner, San Felipe, Belmont, Sublime, Altair and Beard. The route ends at Washington on the Brazos on March 6. Find more information here.
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE VETERANS OF THE TEXAS REVOLUTION – AUSTIN, TX
When: March 2
What: The members of Celebrate Texas along with the Texian Legacy Association will host an annual Memorial Service at the State Cemetery in Austin at 9 a.m. on March 2. There will be a guest speaker and muskets will be fired to honor the veterans. Following the ceremony, there will be a tour of the heroes buried in the cemetery on Republic Hill. To learn more about the service, go to http://celebratetexas.net/memserv05.html.
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION OF NORTH TEXAS – ACTON, TX
When: March 2
What: The Texas Heroes Foundation is conducting a “Stroll Through Texas History” from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Acton Baptist Church. Festivities include crafts, live music, rifle demonstrations and the chance to meet Texas Heroes. There will also be a “Selfie Scavenger Hunt” with a prize of $50. At 1 p.m., a ceremony honoring Elizabeth Crockett will happen at her grave site. Thirteen yellow roses commemorating the days the Alamo was under siege will be placed on the monument. For more information, visit http://march2texas.com/schedule.
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY AND GENERAL SAM HOUSTON BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – HUNTSVILLE, TX
When: March 2
What: Huntsville, home of Sam Houston, is celebrating both Texas’s Independence and Houston’s Birthday, which is also on March 2. Starting at 9:15 a.m., there will be a coffee reception, then at 11 a.m., a ceremony honoring Sam Houston will take place at his grave site. At 12:30 p.m., there will be a lunch at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and then at 2 p.m., there will be a “Toast to Texas” and a birthday cake for General Houston. For more information on how to RSVP, go to http://samhoustonmemorialmuseum.com/.
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY SHOW AND DISCOUNTS – GRUENE, TX
When: March 2
What: Gruene is celebrating Texas Independence Day by offering a free Bob Livingston concert from 1-5 p.m. and a free Mike & The Moonpies concert from 6-10 p.m. at Gruene Hall. To commemorate Texas’s 180th birthday, many stores and restaurants in Gruene will have discounts like an $18 Texas T-Bone at the Gristmill River Restaurant, as well as an 18% discount off all $18 or more purchases at multiple stores. To view all discounts, visit http://gruenetexas.com/TXIndDay2016.html.
TEXAS BIRTHDAY BASH – NAVASOTA, TX
When: March 4-5
What: Navasota is throwing a Texas-sized two-day birthday party. It starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night and events are scheduled until 11 p.m. Saturday night. The festival includes live performances from Texas artists like Aaron Watson, the Josh Abbott Band, Kyle Park and more. There will also be a Chili Bowl Cook-off, a South Texas Gunfighters Show and a Made in Texas craft fair. The kids can enjoy a mechanical bull, petting zoo, cowboy-themed playground and pony rides. To view the schedule and enter for a chance to win various prizes, visit http://www.texasbirthdaybash.com/.
TEXFEST – CARROLLTON, TX
When: March 5
What: Historic Downtown Carrollton is hosting TexFest to honor all things Texas. Lasting from 4 -10:30 p.m., this festival will feature local craft breweries, photo opportunities with longhorn steers and live performances by The O’s and Aubrey Lynn England. The event is free to the public. For more information on TexFest, click here.
Live TEXAS History Music Show – LUCKENBACH, TX
When: March 5
What: Luckenbach is hosting a free Doug Moreland and Brian Burns concert from 12 – 5 p.m at Luckenbach Dance Hall. Doors open at 11 a.m. There will also be an Official Flag Retirement Ceremony with Former Texas Rangers. For more information, visit http://www.luckenbachtexas.com/events.
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION – WACO, TX
When: March 5
What: The Historic Waco Foundation is hosting a celebration from 6-9 p.m. There will be a silent auction, a BBQ Buffet and Bar, and performances from Johnny Rodriguez and Kayla Ray. To purchase tickets and learn more about the event, visit http://www.historicwaco.org/calendar/2016/3/5/texas-independence-day-celebration.
WASHINGTON ON THE BRAZOS CELEBRATION – WASHINGTON, TX
When: March 5-6
What: Washington on the Brazos, the birthplace of Texas, is celebrating the 180th anniversary of Texas’s Independence, as well as the 100th birthday of the state park. For this weekend, the usual fees for Independence Hall, Star of the Republic Museum and Barrington Living History Museum are waived. Parking and admission to the park are free as well. This two-day celebration includes a historical play about the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence, a special exhibit at the Star of the Republic Museum on the personal lives of the men who signed the declaration and a kids’ zone where children can dress up in historical costumes and sign a replica of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The festival is from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on March 5-6. For more information, visit http://wheretexasbecametexas.org/events/texas-independence-day-celebration/.
CELEBRATE TEXAS PARADE and 5K – AUSTIN, TX
When: March 5 -6
What: The Celebrate Texas festivities begin at 8 a.m. on March 5 with a 5K run starting on the Congress Avenue Bridge and coursing through downtown Austin to raise money for the Celebrate Texas scholarship fund. Then at 9:30 a.m., there will be a Parade on the Congress Avenue Bridge. The celebrations continue on March 6 with a Alamo Defenders Remembrance Ceremony at 2 p.m. at the monument on the south of the State Capitol grounds. Visit http://celebratetexas.net/index.html for more information.
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION AND BBQ COOK-OFF – SAN BENITO, TX
When: March 12
What: The Texas Heritage and Independence Celebration Association (THICA) is throwing a huge celebration in San Benito with reenactments of the Battle of Gonzales, the Battle of the Alamo, and the Battle of San Jacinto. There will also be a signing of a replica “Texas Declaration of Independence” as well as live music, craft vendors, food and art contests. For more information, visit http://www.happybirthdaytexas.com/