San Jacinto Day Fest Calling for Volunteers

Reenactment+participants+%28from+left%29+Kelly+Thompson%2C+Sarah+Henry+and+Ron+Strybos+portray+members+from+the+Mexican+Calvary+as+they+ride+out+from+their+camp+to+meet+with+the+Texan+Calvary.

Photo Courtesy of Carol Highsmith

Reenactment participants (from left) Kelly Thompson, Sarah Henry and Ron Strybos portray members from the Mexican Calvary as they ride out from their camp to meet with the Texan Calvary.

The annual San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment commemorating the Battle of San Jacinto is approaching, and event organizers are reaching out to solicit volunteers.

Volunteer Coordinator and San Jacinto College Honors Program Director, Dr. Eddie Weller, said the event appeals to all attendees whether they appreciate the historical aspect or not.

“If they like history, they’re going to love it,” Weller said. “If they don’t like history, they’re going to find out they love history.”

Weller said he did not start with many volunteers when he became the coordinator approximately five years ago, but last year there were as many as 300. He stresses the importance of their contribution noting “some of this just couldn’t happen without volunteers.”

Voluntary participants will perform tasks such as assisting in the children’s craft area, setting up and tearing down tents, chairs, and decorations, as well as providing directions and assistance with shuttle bus pick-up and drop-off.

Furthermore, Weller added, volunteers do not have to attend San Jac to participate but noted many come from the College community. “A nice share are related to students or faculty or staff,” he said.

Moreover, Weller confirmed that 15,000 to 20,000 people attend the event each year. “Everything will be accurate,” he continued, from the genre of music played, to the various activities and vendors that will be on location. According to a news release, the festival’s entertainment will feature country-western bands, flamenco dancers, Native American presentations, square dancers, a children’s train and petting zoo, as well as hand-crafted items for sale and over fifteen food vendors.

“They try to do things that either tie into the nature of Texas or the history of Texas,” Weller added.

The festival commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto that took place on April 21, 1836. According to Weller, it is “one of the ten most significant or strategic battles in modern history.”

“It’s not the U.S. versus Mexico. It’s Texas versus Mexico,” he said.

The battle reenactment picks up four or five days after the Battle of the Alamo and is performed by San Jacinto volunteer reenactors.

“There are other reenactments and battles, but nowhere near as many people come to attend,” Weller said. “Nowhere as many people are involved.”

An attraction Weller emphasized should not be missed is a medicine show skit featuring Dan Barth as a peddler trying to attract the public to buy medication.

“You would think it was corny… and to watch it, everybody is just enthralled,” he said. “They ask people to fill out things that they like, and he’s always at the top of the list. They love him!”

The San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment will take place 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 23 at the San Jacinto Monument located at 3523 Independence Parkway in La Porte, Texas. Further information is available at www.sanjacinto-museum.org. The last day to apply to be a volunteer is March 26. For further information contact Dr. Eddie Weller at eddie.weller@sjcd.edu.