Each fall, on the first weekend of October, the citizens of Gonzales, along with people from all over the country (and sometimes the world) gather to celebrate the first shots of Texas Independence during a three-day festival called “Come and Take It.”
The event this year will begin Friday, Sept. 30, and continue through Sunday, Oct. 2, and is hosted by the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce, along with the Come and Take It Celebration committee.
The festival includes a carnival for the kids, car show, chicken flying, arts and crafts, golf tournament, a battle reenactment, egg toss, celebratory parade, and vendor booths, along with the much anticipated musical line up. This year’s line up includes many wonderful acts and will bring a lot of fun and entertainment to the crowd.
The entertainment chair for the committee, Britney Jones-Caka, shared the following acts expected to attend in this year’s Come and Take It event. Other information for the event is courtesy of the committee chairman, Daisy Scheske Freeman, and will continue to be forthcoming as events are definitively scheduled.
The musical acts that will take the stage to celebrate this year’s Come & Take It celebration are:
• Friday, September 30: 6-7:30 p.m. South Paw Band; 8-9:30 p.m. Standing Peppers; 10-11:30 p.m. Bart Crow
• Saturday, October 1: 2-4 p.m. Los Gavilanes (located under the beer tent); 4:30-6 p.m. Mid Life Crisis Band; 7-8:30 p.m. Waves; 9-10:30 p.m. Neal McCoy; and 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Ricky Naranjo y Los Gamblers. There will be a break from 6-7 p.m. during which Miss Gonzales County will be announced,
• Sunday: Shiner Hobo Band
The annual event takes place to commemorate the firing of the first shot of the Texas Revolution on Oct. 2, 1835, which happened very near to the city of Gonzales. Gonzales was established by empresario Green DeWitt in 1825, two and a half miles east of the convergence of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers. It was, at the time, the westernmost Anglo settlement in the area, and, remained so through the end of the Texas revolution.
The town is named in honor of Don Rafael Gonzales, the provisional governor of Coahuila, Mexico and Texas. Gonzales flourished and was a thriving capital of the DeWitt colony by 1833. In September of 1835 Mexican officials at San Antonio de Bexar demanded a return of a cannon that had been previously loaned to the citizenry in 1831 to protect against indigenous attacks. The citizenry responded with the pronouncement that if they wanted it, come and take it.
Gonzales became known as “The Lexington of Texas”, where the first shot was fired, and where the first Texas Army of Volunteers gathered. A few months after the first shot, men and boys from the region would gather in Gonzales, sending the only reinforcements ever received at the Alamo.
Each October, on the first full weekend of October, the citizens of Gonzales, along with thousands of visitors, gather to celebrate their Texas heritage in a three-day festival called “Come & Take It.”
For more information regarding the celebration please refer to the Gonzales Chamber website at gonzalestexas.com.