General Sam Houston Folk Festival
It’s no stretch to say Texas may not exist today if not for Sam Houston. Until his incredible victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, Texas independence was anything but certain. The General Sam Houston Folk Festival celebrates the life and contributions of the military and political legend to the mighty state of Texas by offering festival-goers an immersive experience of frontier life in Houston’s day. Held on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, this living history event brings the past to life in ways no textbook ever could.
A full cast of costumed characters - including the general himself, his family members, and Deaf Smith, one of Houston’s scouts - act out vignettes and interact with guests. Exhibits and performers representing the people groups of Houston’s day that helped shape present-day Texas culture are also featured, including Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans, the latter in the form of the award-winning Sahawe Indian Dancers.
Guests won’t just be hearing actors describe life in the 1800’s; they’ll be seeing live demonstrations of 19th-century activities up close and personal. Cannon and rifle fire, Dutch oven cooking, blacksmithing, glass-blowing, woodworking, cross-stitching and more are on tap from experienced reenactors like the Cane Island Volunteers, returning to the festival this year after performing at the inaugural event all the way back in 1988. At the Children’s Tent, kids can play games and make crafts like friendship bracelets, cornhusk dolls, and candles. And this being a folk festival, you’ll be treated to live folk, country, and bluegrass music. A hammered dulcimer group and a Celtic string band jam out, as well.
And for the first time, the museum grounds host the Texas State Knife & Tomahawk Championship on Saturday and Sunday during the festival. Knife Throwers Hall of Fame world champion Chris Miller and his wife Sarah host the event that crowns a state champion, with proceeds from entry fees going to support wounded service members and their families through the Lone Survivor Foundation. Stay and watch the competition at no additional charge. If you’re a fan of the sport, make sure to catch the knife and whip show.
Join more than a quarter of a million visitors who have journeyed here over the years to remember a true Lone Star legend at the last place he called home.