Celebrate Texas Independence Day all weekend long

Photo credit: Matthew Colvin de Valle via CC

Celebrate the 178th anniversary of Texas’ Declaration of Independence from Mexico – which happened to fall on Sam Houston’s birthday – with recreations, ceremonies, parties and happy hour celebrations all over the Greater Houston metro area and beyond on and leading up to Sunday, March 2, 2014.

On March 2, 1836, 59 delegates from across the massive Mexican territory known as Texas gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos, not far from present day Brenham and Navasota. One of those delegates was our city’s namesake Sam Houston, who cast his name to the formal declaration on his 43rd birthday.

Today the state holiday is not unlike the national Fourth of July Independence Day, though given our propensity for largesse is surprisingly not quite as big a deal. The day is marked by both somber historical ceremonies and cultural celebrations as well as with a lot of festive gathering and day drinking. We’ve pulled together some of our favorites of both types of events, including the two-day Texas Independence Day celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos, the site that started it all, located just about an hour west of Houston off of 290.

Friday, February 28

  • Go Texan Day in support of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo | FREE – Join thousands of Rodeo fans, Texas aficionados and cowboys- and cowgirls-at-heart in this citywide theme day. Dress up like a Texan, plan a Western-themed event or meal, or otherwise celebrate the best qualities of the Old West. Yeehaw!

Saturday, March 1

  • Downtown Rodeo Parade 2014 | FREE – Texas takes over Downtown with this procession celebrating Western heritage. Thousands of riders will proceed through Downtown on horseback, accompanying festive floats and marching bands. 10am.
  • Sam Houston Birthday and Texas Independence Day at the Sam Houston Statue and Visitor Center in Huntsville | FREE – Pay your respects to Sam Houston at a wine and cheese reception with live music and storytelling at the 67-foot tall statue created by Houston’s own David Adickes. 5pm to 6:30pm.
  • Texas Independence Day Celebration at Washington on the Brazos | FREE – Visit the spot “Where Texas became Texas” for a two-day celebration of Texas in the 1830s. It’s on this spot that 59 delegates met to formally declare Texas’ independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836. Today, a mere 178 years later, the Washington on the Brazos State Park historic site just outside of Brenham celebrates with live music, food, traditional crafts, living history presentations, firing demonstrations, historical encampments and other commemorative programs. 10am to 5pm.

  • Texas National Fest at the League of Extraordinary Brewers in Historic Downtown – Swing by the League at the corner of Travis and Franklin for a Texas National Brewery takeover of all six of the house taps, featuring 15 Minutes West Barleywine, War Pig Bacon Oatmeal Imperial Brown Ale, Vlad Particle Russian Imperial Stout, Brown on the Bayou Imperial Texas Brown, Hoppy Hoppy Hippo IPA and Lola’s Panty-dropper Oatmeal Poire. Guests from Fort Bend Brewing, Independence, Brews Brothers and Warlocks will be on hand.

Texas Independence Day, Sunday, March 2