Educational fun

SAN BENITO — From music and games to food and historical reenactments, a local nonprofit is creating an event filled with endless family-fun activities.

Texas Heritage and Independence Celebration Association (THICA) personnel are gearing up for their annual Happy Birthday TexasFest, which was created several years ago to educate the public and celebrate Texas’ Independence.

The two-day event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. March 13 and 14 at the San Benito Fairgrounds, located at 25699 Cesar Gonzalez Parkway.

“I’m excited for TexasFest and we’re getting closer to it,” THICA reenactment coordinator Ruben Cordova said. “We’re hoping for good weather.”

There is a $5 parking fee per vehicle.

Event admission is free.

In addition to a beer garden, arts and crafts, food vendors, and exhibits, the event will have a car show and a barbecue cook-off.

Throughout Friday and Saturday, there will also be live performances by Grammy award-winner Elida Reyna y Avante, Jaime de Anda, Los Garcia Brothers, Zereno, Hache Tres, Grupo Azido, Roy Solis, Midnight Run, Los City Boys and Los Resaca City Boys, as well as local school conjunto, choir, folklorico and dance teams.

Saturday, THICA members will reenact three key moments during Texas’ fight for independence — the Battle of Gonzalez, the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

“We’re hoping people will take with them a sense of pride for Texas and pride in knowing more about what we instill about the unremembered Tejanos,” Cordova said. “That’s really what this event was put on for, to remember the Tejanos that were never recognized as fighting in the Texas Revolution.”

Actors will be dressed in attire similar to the uniforms and clothing of the era.

There will be actors representing both sides and they will meet in combat on the battleground.

The battle scenes will have narrations and will be conducted with simulated cannon and musket fire, smoke, dust and blood.

According to Cordova, THICA is always in need of volunteers for the battle reenactments.

“We’ll teach people everything that they need to before going out there,” Cordova said. “Safety is the first thing that we try to instill on everybody that’s out there on the field.”

The TexasFest will conclude at 11 p.m. Saturday with a fireworks extravaganza.

IF YOU GO

WHAT — Happy Birthday TexasFest

WHEN — March 13 and 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

WHERE — San Benito Show Fair Grounds, 25699 Cesar Gonzalez Parkway (off FM 510)

BATTLE REENACTMENTS — Gonzales at 1 p.m., Alamo at 3 p.m. and San Jacinto 5 p.m.

COST — $5 parking per vehicle

Visit https://tinyurl.com/ueknolq to view the entire schedule of events.