By Logan Timmins
The Totally Texas Festival on Sunday, April 12th will be a day of family fun at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center and Theatre/Courts building in Deer Park. It’s a celebration of an event Texans are most proud of; the pivotal day our Lone Star state earned its independence from Mexico.
On April 1, 1836, the remarkable Battle of San Jacinto decided the fate of Texas territory. Despite being considerably outnumbered, Sam Houston and his band of pioneer soldiers ambushed Santa Ana’s forces, sweeping through the Mexican camp and suffering just nine casualties. The battle was won in less than 20 minutes. Meeting in George Moffitt Patrick’s cabin home in what would later become Deer Park, General Houston and Santa Ana drafted the initial treaty, which outlined Mexico’s surrender. That day changed the map of North America forever and served as a preamble for our state pride and freedom-lovin’ culture nearly two centuries later. The Totally Texas Festival embodies that spirit and will be an event you and your family won’t want to miss.
Coinciding with the annual reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto and combined with numerous other exciting events, Tim Culp, president and CEO of Deer Park Chamber of Commerce says, “there’s a little bit of something for everyone. That’s no overstatement. The festival will be complete with food and drinks from several different vendors, games for the kids, arts and crafts, contests and competitions, and live music and entertainment for all. “
Teaming up with the festival, Shell Strides for Schools invites you to participate in the annual Strides for Schools Fun Run, kicking off at 8:15 on the morning of the event. Join in some outdoor fun and exercise on this USA Track & Field certified 5K tour through the streets of Deer Park, ending in time for partakers to attend and enjoy the rest of the festival’s activities. Runners, walkers, families and children alike are encouraged to participate and show support for Deer Park teachers and students. Shell Deer Park has proudly sponsored the Strides for Schools Fun Run for 6 years now, and remains committed to Deer Park’s hard-working teachers, students, and community.
The highly anticipated George Watt Commemorative Chili Cook Off is again on the agenda this year, with high stakes and friendly competition for the best beans, chili, and people’s choice winnings.
Proceeds go toward helping the Senior Citizens Commission of Deer Park. Additionally, the 2nd Annual Totally Texas Traffic Jam Car Show will be a guaranteed-good time and a fundraiser for the Deer Park Chamber Ambassadors program; $20 pre-registration entry fee, $25 fee on the day of the show, and free to spectate.
Another of this year’s main events is the Totally Country Talent Contest, where local talents will compete, free of charge, for people’s choice, providing live music and entertaining performances.
An art show hosted by the Deer Park Art League and art classes for kids at the Theatre/Courts Building is yet another focal event of the festival. Choir groups from different schools will be on sight singing as well.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. and certainly won’t disappoint. Plus, local non-profit organizations will be in attendance with food booths, arts and crafts booths, and other activities to raise money for their respected causes.
Culp welcomes anyone and everyone to come and experience the Totally Texas Festival this year. “It really is just a great day of family fun,” he says. “Get the kids, get outside, and go and enjoy yourself. It’s a free event that you and your children can enjoy while contributing to the community.”
With so many attractions and festivities, the Jimmy Burke Activity Center and the Theatre/Courts Building will likely be packed with thousands of festival attendees and participants. Parking will be scarce on site, so arrive early to park close by or take advantage of the provided shuttle services, which will run from the Former Houston Area Safety Council building, Clyde Abshire Stadium, and the Dollar General store parking lot. There will be drop-off points at the Jimmy Burke Activity Center as well as the Theatre Courts Building for convenience.
For more information about the Totally Texas Festival including a complete schedule of the day’s events, a map of the parade route, applications for the competitions, and shuttle location addresses visit the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce website, www.deerpark.org.