A celebration of Texas pride

Item File PhotoRay Hernandez, the president and CEO of the Huntsville-Walker County Chamber of Commerce welcomes the crowd during last year's Texas Independence Day/ General Sam Houston Birthday Celebration at Oakwood Cemetery. 

It’s that time of year again — time to celebrate Texas Independence Day and the legacy Gen. Sam Houston.

The Walker County Historical Commission, Sam Houston Memorial Museum and the Sam Houston Statue and Visitor Center invite everyone to join the 40th annual celebration on March 2.

The festivities will begin with a reception from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. at the Walker County Gibbs-Powell House Museum, located in Huntsville at 1228 11th Street.

It will be followed by the traditional march from the Sam Houston State University campus to the general’s gravesite at Oakwood Cemetery. The march will commence at Old Main Pit, adjacent to Austin Hall and proceed to the grave along University Avenue. It is led by the university’s ROTC program, with the support of the Bearkat History Club, the Department of Student Activities and members of the student body, faculty, staff, and administration.

A special ceremony to honor Sam Houston will take place at 11 a.m. at his gravesite in Oakwood Cemetery, located at the intersection Sam Houston Memorial Drive at 9th Street. The gravesite ceremony will also include the SHSU ROTC Color Guard and Firing Team, the laying of wreath and the “Baptized Texan Ceremony.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Sam Houston Natural Science & Art Research Center, located at 710 University Avenue.

A luncheon will be held Immediately following the ceremony at 12:30 p.m. at the William Hodges Education Building, located at the Sam Houston Statue and Visitors Center, with an online RSVP required. Following the Luncheon, in the same location, the celebration continues with a “Toast to Texas” accompanied by birthday cake.

For the safety of the entire community, event-goers will be required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing at all of the events.

For more information, contact Jessica Lacy with the city of Huntsville Tourism Department via email at jlacy@huntsvilletx.gov or by calling 936-291-5932, or contact the Walker County Historical Commission at 936-435-2497.

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