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This Texas historic site celebrates Independence Day -- twice a year

Texas historic site celebrates U.S. Independence Day, but it celebrates a second Independence Day as well.

Mention Independence Day at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site and someone may ask you, “Which one?”

The historic site, about 45 miles northwest of Houston, celebrates two independence days.

One is July 4, celebrated here just as the rest of the United States does. There will be plenty of family activities for that Saturday celebration from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Be prepared, though, for a history lesson. At this spot along the banks of the Brazos River, 59 delegates gathered on March 2, 1836, to declare Texas’ independence from Mexico.

Mexico and Texas colonists fought the Texas Revolution from October 1835 to April 1836. Mexico’s defeat led to the founding of the Texas Republic. The park’s official slogan is “Where Texas became Texas.”

Texas became a state on Dec. 29, 1845, but that was not without drama either. A dispute arose between the U.S. and Mexico about the border, sparking the Mexican-American War. It was fought from April 1846 to February 1848 and ended in Mexico’s defeat and its loss of half-a-million acres of land.

As we are thinking patriotic thoughts during the Independence Day weekend, we’ll probably hear about Independence Hall and will think of the one in Philadelphia. But there’s also an Independence Hall in this enclave of Texas history.

Tours of Texas’ Independence Hall, a replica of the original, are offered daily. Reenactors play the roles of the original 59 delegates who gathered here to proclaim Texas as a sovereign republic.

Food and craft vendors will be set up throughout the grounds on the Fourth. The Cody Bryan Band will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m. with fireworks to follow at 9:30.

Admission to the grounds is always free. Fees are charged to tour Independence Hall, Star of the Republic Museum and the Barrington Living History Farm. A $9 pass includes admission to all three attractions.

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