Texas Independence Celebration March 3-5

January 23, 2017
Visitors will find new attractions in Washington County this year
to commemorate the Texas Republic’s birthday. A three-day celebration will be held at Washington on
the Brazos State Historic Site (WOBSHS), Historic Downtown Brenham and Independence, former
hometown of Sam Houston.

Each year thousands of visitors gather at WOBSHS for the two-day Texas Independence Day Celebration, which will be Saturday March 4th and Sunday March 5th this year.

“The events being added will bring fun evening entertainment and even more historical content to the
2017 Texas Independence Weekend,” said Page Michel, CEO and president of the Washington County
Chamber Convention & Visitors Bureau. “All venues are only about 20 minutes from each other but visitors will need two or three days to
experience everything. If you take the short, beautiful drive to each event in Washington County, you can easily see why Texas’ first settlers chose this place above all others. “Visitors are encouraged to dress in 19th century clothing for all these events, or even western attire.
Anything Texan, no matter what era, will add to the fun for everyone -- and to the ambiance of the
The 2017 Texas Independence Weekend events in Washington County are:

The Sam Houston Day Proclamation Ceremony will officially kick-off the weekend at 4:00 pm in
Independence, the hometown of Sam Houston and his family from 1853 to 1858.
The public is invited, free of charge, to the ceremony that will take place at the Texas Baptist Historical
Museum where Houston regularly attended church and received his baptism.

This event will be hosted by the Museum and The Sam Houston Heritage Trail, a group that spans
several states. Visitors will gather for proclamations from Texas & Tennessee governor offices, to
commemorate Houston’s governorship of both states and his many contributions to history.
“We will also be honored to hear a proclamation by the Supreme Court Justice of the Cherokee Nation,”
said Joy Montgomery, director of The Sam Houston Heritage Trail. “This special tribute will celebrate
Houston’s years among the Cherokees and his life-long advocacy for Indian rights.”

“Before or after the ceremony, visitors can see the Museum’s many exhibits and artifacts from Sam
Houston’s family life and the oldest continuously operating Baptist Church in Texas,” said Pastor Phillip
Hassel, director of Texas Baptist Historical Museum. “The Museum will open at 10:00 am on Friday and Saturday. Admission is free of charge, but donations are appreciated.

“Visitors at the Sam Houston Day Ceremony can tour several historic sites in addition to the Museum,”
said Beth Dickson, president of Independence Historical Society. “Here you can see the oldest home in
Washington County, the ruins of the original Baylor University campus, a 19th century one-room school, and an early dog-trot log home. Tours will open at 2:00 pm on Sam Houston Day and they are free of charge, but donations are appreciated.

The village of Independence and the Texas Baptist Historical Museum are located at the intersection of
FM 50 and FM 390, a 20-minute drive from Brenham. For more information: SamTrail.net,
TexasBaptistHistoricalMuseum.weebly.com, and IndependenceTX.com.

The Eve of Texas Independence will start at 6:00 pm at Alamo Alley in Historic Downtown Brenham.
This unique event will emulate the many gatherings across Washington County in the days immediately before the 1836 Constitutional Convention.

“Delegates came from across Texas to be part of the Convention at Washington on the Brazos,” said
Jennifer Eckermann, manager of Main Street Brenham for the City and organizer of the Eve event. “Many others came to witness the important event. There were very few hotels and boarding houses back then, so all of Washington County opened its doors to feed and house the travelers.

“The Eve of Texas Independence will place visitors in the footsteps of those who attended the gettogethersaround Hickory Grove, as the Brenham  area was called then. Our guests will experience anauthentic evening of early Texas fellowship and the most elegant foods of the era.”
 Reenactors will portray important ‘Texians’ who met at the 1836 Constitutional Convention including Sam Houston. Reenactments and period music will be continuously performed throughout the event.

“The evening will end with an 8:00 pm feature movie, Houston: The Legend of Texas , starring Sam 
Elliott,” said Eckermann. “This is an action-packed portrayal of Sam Houston and Texas’ fight for
independence. It will be shown on the big screen in the Barnhill Center at Historic Simon Theatre.”
Reservations are required by Friday, February 24 for the Eve of Texas Independence:

Those who only want to attend the 8:00 pm movie can make reservations on the above website, and
tickets can also be purchased at the door.

The annual Texas Independence Day Celebration is a two-day event from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
on both days. It takes place at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site (WOBSHS) “Where Texas Became Texas.”

“This is some of Texas’ most historically sacred ground,” said Jim Kolkhorst, president of the WOBSH
board of directors. “Sam Houston and other ‘Texians’ risked their lives to meet here in 1836 and write a
Declaration of Independence from oppressive Mexican rule. For the next ten years, the Republic of Texas proudly existed as a free and sovereign nation.”

The 181st birthday anniversary celebration features a lively play titled The Birth of a Republic , Texas A&M University Singing Cadets, cannon and musket firing lines, historical reenactments, food, old-time live music, traditional crafts, living history presentations, and an authentic 1836 Texas Army camp where visitors may wander freely.

The Star of Texas Dulcimers will perform American folk music in the WOBSHS Star of Texas Museum’s theater throughout the weekend. The Museum will also feature special exhibits and demonstrators showing period skills such as quilting, hand knitting and tatting.

The Texas Independence Day Celebration is free of charge to visitors including admission to the grounds, all WOBSHS attractions, on-site shuttles and parking.

WOBSHS is located at 23400 Park Road 12, off State Highway 105 in Washington—about halfway
between Brenham and Navasota. From Highway 105, follow either FM 912 or FM 1155 to Park Road 12. For more information: WhereTexasBecameTexas.org.

Two for Texas, a feature movie, will be shown at 7:00 pm at The Barnhill Center at Historic Simon
Theatre in Downtown Brenham. This exciting Texas Independence film stars Tom Skerritt, Peter Coyote
and Kris Kristofferson.

Doors open at 6:30 pm. For reservations or more information: DowntownBrenham.com/EveOfTexas.