March 02, 2004
Happy Independence Day

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.

Oops. Well, Pete has some alternate suggestions for would-be celebrants, and Norbizness has some links to follow if you want to do some reading on the subject. Of course, if you're here in Houston, you could just drive up I-45 and wave to the statue of Sam Houston.

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

The following is a Bad Joke Alert:

The following joke is so bad that I must warn you as to how poor it is. Please accept my apology in advance of the telling of this joke.

"Demisesquicentennial" - Why couldn't they get Demi Moore and the Susquehana Hat Company involved in the celebration?

The preceding was a really awful joke.


Posted by: William Hughes on March 2, 2004 3:18 PM

Well, if you are disappointed you didn't get your parade, you could always celebrate today as Dr. Seuss's birthday instead of Texas Independence Day!

I will not hold the big parade,
I will not hold it in the shade,
I will not hold it in the rain,
I won't parade if it's a pain,

Posted by: Steve Bates on March 2, 2004 10:14 PM

Didn't get the joke, but then I'm not the only one.
would love to get involved, but only if you can get Demi Moore!

Yours - Ken White
Managing Director
The Susquehana Hat Company Ltd.

Posted by: Ken on April 24, 2004 2:10 AM