That would be Texas Independence Day, and today is the 168th anniversary of this state's declaration of independence from Mexico in 1836. Too bad there won't be a parade.
AUSTIN -- Longhorn-riding cowboys, honky-tonkin' Alvin Crow, and the big beats of the Aggie and Longhorn bands normally pulsate down Congress Avenue on the second day of March.
But, on this Texas Independence Day, one of the capital city's grandest parades has fallen silent.
Money mixups and miscues conspired to pull the plug this year on Austin's big bash paying homage to Texas' 1836 declaration of independence from Mexico.
Large observations of Texas Independence Day are not observed statewide. Aside from the Austin festivities, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park near Brenham, where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, last weekend hosted its celebration with historical re-enactments and craft demonstrations.
Backers of Austin's Independence Day celebrations hope to make them as important in the future as San Jacinto Day in April is to Houston or annual Fiesta celebrations are for San Antonio, said Harvey Ford, chairman of the board of Celebrate Texas.
In Houston, where San Jacinto Day is more widely celebrated than Texas Independence Day, neither the city nor county has an official observance planned. However, there will be San Jacinto Day ceremonies April 21 at the San Jacinto Monument.
Celebrate Texas' push for more Independence Day festivities, which began in 1999, wasn't initially met with open arms by city officials, Ford said.
"We never got a warm, fuzzy feeling from the city about what we were doing," he said, speculating on why schoolchildren no longer celebrate the holiday as he did growing up in Texas.
"I guess that could range anywhere from being politically incorrect or a lack of people trying to preserve our unique history," he said.
The Austin City Council had contributed in the past, but this year its belated financial support came too late.
The Independence Day parade and a fun run the next day would have cost nearly $15,000, a bill the city pledges to pick up in the future. In previous years, the city has contributed, if not always fully funded, the event.
The best Texas Independence Day ever was in 1986, because it was the Sesquicentennial. That was cool because how often do you get to use a word like Sesquicentennial in everyday conversation? The only thing better was when Rice University celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1987, as that was its Demisesquicentennial. As noted by the MOB, that was the same year that SPAM celebrated its 50th anniversary. What more do you need to know?Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 02, 2004 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack