Houston, TX (PressExposure) February 12, 2014 -- Both events will honor the Battleship TEXAS, her legendary history and pay tribute to the surviving crew members who proudly served on the ship during World War II. Commissioned on March 12, 1914, the TEXAS served in both world wars and is the last remaining "dreadnought", or big-gun battleship. She is a beloved icon who was part of many firsts including the first US battleship to launch an airplane and to house anti-aircraft guns. She was awarded five battle stars during WWII.
On Wednesday, March 12, a private Centennial Ceremony honoring the returning WWII crew members will be held on the decks of the TEXAS at 10:30 a.m. followed by a reunion luncheon. Commemorating the actual 100th anniversary of the ship's commissioning on March 12, 1914, the ceremony will recognize the crew members with a special tribute and medal presentation, military fanfare and a keynote speaker.
The festivities will continue on Saturday, March 15 with a public, family-friendly festival featuring Robert Earl Keen's "A Texas Uprising" at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site adjacent to the ship.
Saturday's Centennial Celebration will also feature:
- Tours of the TEXAS from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Headliner musical entertainment
- 12:30 - 2 p.m. Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
- 3 - 4:30 p.m. Charlie Robison
- 5:30 - 7 p.m. Reckless Kelly
- 8 - 9:30 p.m. Robert Earl Keen
- A ceremony honoring TEXAS crewmembers at approximately 2 p.m.
- Dedication of donated house to US veteran by the Texas Sentinels Organization
- TPWD interactive booths for all ages
- WWII vintage aircraft flyovers
- Historical zones highlighting WWI and WWII including military artifacts
- Battleship TEXAS Walk of History
- Local restaurants and gourmet food trucks
- Fireworks display at closing
"The Battleship TEXAS is an enduring symbol of strength and we want to celebrate her service and honor the men who served and risked their lives for our freedom," said Bruce Bramlett, executive director of the Battleship Texas Foundation. "Throwing the TEXAS a 100th commissioning celebration is the least we can do and we know it will be an incredible and memorable day for former crew members, our local community and for our state. The community has been very supportive of the celebrations and we have received generous sponsorships from multiple corporations including HEB, Exxon, Centerpoint, Patriot Bank, Vopak and many local municipalities."
The Centennial Celebration will take place regardless of weather conditions. Pre-sale tickets are available now for $14 at battleshiptexas.org through the day of the festival or at the gate for $20. Children 12 and under are free. Discounted prices are available for veterans, $8 pre-sale and $15 at the gate. VIP ship event tickets are also available for purchase. All proceeds raised from the Centennial Celebration will go toward preserving the ship for future generations.
About Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department mission is to "manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations." The department operates 95 Texas state parks and historic sites, 51 wildlife management areas, three saltwater fish hatcheries and five freshwater hatcheries. TPWD game wardens and wildlife and fisheries biologists work in every Texas county, enforcing laws and encouraging management to conserve fish and wildlife. The agency has 11 internal divisions: Wildlife, Coastal Fisheries, Inland Fisheries, Law Enforcement, Legal, State Parks, Infrastructure, Communications, Administrative Resources, Human Resources and Information Technology. For more information, see the TPWD website http://www.tpwd.texas.gov.