What was the San Jacinto Celebration?
- It began as a celebration of the last battle for Texas’ Independence from Mexico April 21, 1836.
- It quickly became a Firefighter appreciation day (Austin had a lot of veterans from the battle and they just happened to be firefighters in Austin).
How long did it last?: From 1869 to the early 1920s
What did the Celebration include?: The fire department’s yearly promotions, awards, parades, picnicking, competitions, and Firefighter Ball.
Why did the San Jacinto Celebration come to an end?: In 1916 the Austin Fire Department transitioned from an all volunteer department to an all paid department. The membership went from more than 200 to 27 over night. The celebration slowly faded away as the volunteers aged and AFD lost its tradition.
Do we still have stuff from old San Jacinto celebrations?: Absolutely! A lot of the artifacts in the Fire Museum today are remnants of San Jacinto celebrations from years past.
How and when did San Jacinto Night start?
- San Jacinto Night was conceived in 2007 and the first Celebration was in 2008.
- It was the brain child of members of the Emergency Pipe and Drum Assoc. who had taken the idea of a San Jacinto Celebration from informal history lessons given by those in the Museum.
- In fact, the Museum opened its doors on April 21, (San Jacinto Day) 2005.
- This year will be our THIRD annual San Jacinto night celebration.
- All proceeds from admissions benefit the Austin Fire Museum and help to offset the cost of the annual celebration which we hope to make bigger and better each year.
- Proceeds from raffle sales and the silent auction benefit ESPADA, the Emergency Service Pipes and Drums Association, which is a service band comprised of Fire, Police, and EMS from Austin and surrounding areas. ESPADA is dedicated to honoring Emergency Service personnel and although it was originally created to honor fireffighters, police, and paramedics that died in the line of duty, it has since expanded to be a part of the vibrant music culture of Austin and the Central Texas area. ESPADA performs in parades, festivals and community events.
To purchase tickets or learn more about the event please visit; www.AustinFireMuseum.org/blog.
Event and Raffle Tickets also available at the following:
- AFD HQ, see Mandy Ray
- Union Store, see Kelli Tucker
- Lyzz Donelson – Ed Services (c 619-8869)
- Andre de la Reza –Engine 17C (c 695-2850)
- Josh Miller – Engine 6C (c 922-9878)
- Coitt Kessler – Ladder 18C (c 653-6458)
- Michelle Caldwell – (512)694-2989
For more information about the Austin Fire Museum or ESPADA, please check us out on the web at: www.austinfiremuseum.org/blog/ or at http://www.espadatx.org/.