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SAN BENITO – The sounds of firing muskets and cannon blasts will fill the atmosphere when San Benito hosts its Third Annual Texas Independence Day Celebration on Saturday, Feb. 26. Battle skirmishes, reenacted by living historians, will culminate with the Battle of the Alamo in honor of the 175th anniversary of Texas’ Independence.
The free, two-day event begins with a Texas History Symposium for educators at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, followed by a public symposium in the evening. Saturday’s event will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Plaza San Benito at 225 E. Stenger. Texas History Symposium participants will receive six hours of Continuing Education credits for attending lectures by renowned Texas historians and will be treated to a chuckwagon lunch and demonstration by David Champion and the Tejano Cookers. Featured historians include Dr. Frank de la Teja, David R. McDonald, Art Martinez De Vara, Elizandro Muñoz, Jr., and David Champion.
On Friday evening, the public is invited to attend another symposium featuring the historians. Following the presentation will be an outdoor viewing of the movie, The Alamo, featuring Billy Bob Thorton.
Saturday’s day-long event begins with a parade of horseback riders and re-enactors in period uniforms. Texas Historians Dr. Frank de la Teja, David R. McDonald, Art Martinez De Vara, and Elizandro Muñoz, Jr will speak about the Texas Revolution.
The free event will feature activities such as re-enactments of the Battle of the Alamo and battle skirmishes; Native American history demonstrations; photo opportunities with re-enactors in period uniforms; and family-friendly history activities.
The San Benito Historical Society will be coordinating and sponsoring children’s activities such as old-fashioned games played during the Texas Revolution time period, and demonstrations such as weaving, butter churning, and whittling. Participants will have the opportunity to see an authentic chuckwagon, explore a Native American teepee, browse displays of tools and leather goods, and observe demonstrations that give a historical account of early life in the Rio Grande Valley Region. The main event on Saturday will also feature a Native American Teepee and demonstrations by living historians, as well as children’s activities and delicious chili and pan de campo by the Tejano Cookers.
The Texas Independence Day Celebration is made possible by grants from Humanities Texas, the San Benito Economic Development Corporation, and private donations. Together with the San Benito Historical Society, and featuring South Texas Trail Riders, The Indian Bear Clan, South Texas History Brigade, and renowned Texas historians, The Texas Independence Day Celebration Committee plans to make this unique, family oriented event even more exciting and educational so we may continue to instill pride within our community for our Texan heritage.
For information about the Texas Independence Day celebration or participating in the Texas History Symposium in San Benito, call Fred Garza at 245-6980.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.