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!
- Ray Wylie Hubbard in Concert at the Redneck Country Club in Stafford – Texas country and Americana singer/songwriter, and one of the most respected voices in the Texas music scene, Hubbard brings his soulful, personal style to Stafford in honor of Texas Independence Day. $25 general public; $15 RCC members. 8pm.
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
- Larger-than-Life Sam Houston Statues and Memorials | FREE – Visit five impressive statues and one refreshing park all honoring for our city’s namesake Sam Houston inside the Loop and beyond.
- “Come and Take It” Lone Star Beer Giveaway at Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ locations across Texas | FREE – Stop by any Rudy’s location in Texas and get a free 12-ounce bottle of cold Lone Star Beer in honor of Texas Independence Day. No purchase is necessary, but naturally you have to be 21 years or older, y’all.
- Texas Independence Day Celebration at Washington on the Brazos | FREE – The free 2-day celebration of the site where Texas declared independence from Mexico continues with live music, food, crafts, living history presentations, firing demonstrations and more at Washington on the Brazos State Park outside of Brenham. 10am to 5pm.
- Texas Independence Day Beer Festival at The Refinery in Midtown – Visit with 15 Texas breweries and cast a vote for your favorite beer and enjoy crawfish, live music, a dunk tank, moon walk and $2 Lone Star Beer and Pabst Blue Ribbon. 11am to close
- J. Black’s Texas Independence Day Party – Make it a Sunday Funday at this Washington Avenue establishment with specials on Deep Eddy Vodka. Stay late as the celebration morphs into an awards-watching ceremony for Oscar night. Noon until 4pm.
- Texas Independence Day Commemoration at Hermann Park | FREE – Take in a ceremony recognizing Texas Independence day staged by the Texas Historical Reenactors of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, San Jacinto Chapter, in front of Hermann Park’s Sam Houston Statue. 2pm.
- Texas Independence Day at Flying Saucer in Downtown – Raise a pint of Texas beer for just $3 (for most Texas pints) and enjoy some special beers saved just for the occasion. All day.
- Texas Independence Day – Lone Star Style at D & T Drive Inn in the Heights – Enjoy crawfish, Lone Star Beer and DJ music from Clint Broussard of Blues In Hi-Fi at D & T Drive Inn.
- Texas Independence Drinks at The Sam Bar at The Sam Houston Hotel in Downtown – Sam Houston’s namesake hotel celebrates his birthday and Texas Independence Day with a special Timber Ridge Punch cocktail and specially-priced Saint Arnold Amber. Both will be priced at $3.20 in honor of March 2nd. Named for Sam Houston’s birthplace in Virginia, The Timber Ridge Punch combines rum, Sam Houston Whiskey, mint, pineapple, lime and a cherry garnish in a rocks glass. The special will be featured from Sunday, March 2 through Saturday, March 8, 2014.