See history in action at the San Jacinto Day Festival & Battle Reenactment

Photo courtesy of San Jacinto Battle Monument and Museum

Prepare for battle and head to the San Jacinto Battlegrounds in La Porte at the annual San Jacinto Day Festival on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Booming cannons, cracking musket fire, thundering hooves, and desperate battle cries will resound across the San Jacinto Battleground as hundreds of history reenactors recreate the events leading up to Texas winning its independence at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto.

Held by the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, the festival is a full day of entertainment, vendors, food, family activities, cultural exhibits, games, and fun set amidst living history.

In addition to the reenactment, guests can expect music and dancing spread across three stages featuring country-western bands as well as flamenco and square dancers; more than a dozen food vendors; a children’s area complete with make-and-take crafts, a kid’s train, and petting zoo; and dozens of unique hand-crafted items for sale.

For the convenience of out of town guests, hotels in the neighboring city of Deer Park are offering discounted lodging during the event. Click here for links to participating hotels.

Photo courtesy of San Jacinto Battle Monument and Museum

The Battle of San Jacinto

The largest battle reenactment in the state, the production recreates the events leading up to Texas winning its independence from Mexico 181 years ago at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

Visitors can wander freely among the Mexican and Texian camps to learn what the soldiers and their families were doing prior to the battle in 1836.

At 3pm, the official (and historically accurate) reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto begins. With hundreds of history reenactors, this reenactment — complete with cannons, horses, and pyrotechnics — is the largest in the southwest United States.

Click here for a complete list of up-to-date list of event information.

Photo courtesy of San Jacinto Battle Monument and Museum

Entertainment & Educational Activities 

  • Aaron Einhouse | Main Stage Headliner – This Austin native is a singer-songwriter that has built a loyal following touring around the country playing country western music. His fourth album, It Ain’t Pretty was just released and is poised to be his most imaginative and literary music to date.
  • Fred Rusk & the Zydeco Hi-Steppers | Main Stage – This band has been serving the Houston/Louisiana and surrounding areas for 12 years and consist of 5 faithful Zydeco musicians that collaborate to bring the unique sound of the Funky Cajun-French group Danza Azteca Taxcayolotlwill.
  • Danza Azteca Taxcayolotl – The group will perform a version of a Danza Azteca ceremony with a dozen dancers from around Texas dressed in colorful regalia, wearing headdresses with beautiful long feathers, and utilizing natural instruments to compose traditional rhythms for ceremonial dancing. Through dance steps and drum beats, the dancers will honor generations of indigenous traditions.
  • Last Chance Forever – The Birds of Prey Conservancy will present interactive demonstrations of magnificent birds including hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and vultures. Texas Snakes is a fun and hands-on educational.
  • Texas Snakes – A hands-on educational showcase of different non-venomous indigenous snakes to Texas, the Texas Snakes exhibit places an emphasis on how reptiles play their part in the balance of nature.
  • Houston School of Irish Music The group prides itself on giving students a fun and enriching environment to play traditional Irish music. The school is comprised of the North Texas School of Irish Music, with branches in Allen, Murphy, and the Houston School of Irish Music.
  • Bruce Manners – Bruce’s show is an interactive show that combines family-friendly stand-up comedy with world-class juggling and is best described as Stand-up Juggling. As a strolling or “atmosphere entertainer”, Bruce presents world class 3 ball juggling and amazing balance tricks while engaging the crowd in a relaxed and unobtrusive manner.
  • Camel Rides – Rides will be available for a small fee. Camels played an important role in Texas history when the state hosted the U.S. Army’s camel experiment, a short-lived project that used camels to ferry supplies across west Texas and the Great American Desert from 1856 to 1866.
  • Gilbert Hernandez – Hernandez is a reenactor portraying his great grandfather, Santiago Tafolla. Tafolla was a Hispanic pioneer in Texas and part of the Texas Camel Experiment as well as the only known Hispanic in Texas to have memoirs during the Civil War. His presentations consist of the story of the Texas Camel Connection, working with the camels as a calvary soldier and a government employee all during the 1850s and ’60s.
  • Mixteco Ballet Folklorico – This Ballet group provides Houston area youth with cultural activities that preserve Mexican customs, traditions, and culture through the art of music and dance.
  • Red Chanuska J.R. “ Jack” Edmondson – A celebrated historian, author, and reenactor, Edmondson is an alumni of the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Christian University best known for his educational portrayal of the illustrious General Sam Houston.
  • Charles Lara aka Black Beaver – Lara will reenact a Delaware Blanket Trader to teach festival goers about the Texas of the 1800s.
  • Dan Barth Barth will use his Medicine Show Wagon to tell the tales of special 19th-century cure-all elixirs and entertain with a little magic.
  • Irish Dancers Dancers from the Tew Academy of Irish Dance will share the thrilling tradition of Irish step dancing, a timeless art form characterized by rapid movements and remarkable body control.
  • North Harris County Dulcimer Society Guests can enjoy musical entertainment throughout the day from this highly entertaining stringed instrument.
  • Archery Classes – Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will offer archery classes for young people looking to learn the lost art of operating a bow and arrow.
  • Texas Independence Square Dancers – Square dancers from various groups throughout Texas will demonstrate square dancing and give lessons.
  • The Children’s Area – Sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company and Deer Park ISD, the kid’s area includes, A 55′ train complete with train whistle and Texan and American flags, “make-and-take” history activities and crafts overseen by talented specialists from Deer Park ISD, and Marsha’s Petting Zoo with sheep, goats, and other friendly small animals.
Photo courtesy of San Jacinto Battle Monument and Museum

2017 San Jacinto Day Festival & Battle Reenactment in La Porte


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