Texas Traditions hosts annual Texas Independence Day celebration

Madi Margulies

A student watched a baby goat chew on his shoelace while ducks bathed themselves in a nearby water bowl, splashing students at the Texas Independence Day event at Gregory Gymnasium Plaza on Monday.

Texas Traditions, the Campus Events + Entertainment committee that hosted the event, provided free food, including Tiff’s Treats cookies, Taco Bell tacos, sweet tea and Texas-themed cupcakes. Roughly 600 students participated in several activities, with the most popular being the petting zoo, said Anita Kalangara, Texas Traditions financial officer and finance junior. 

Texas Independence Day celebrates the day Texas separated from Mexico with the Texas Declaration of Independence signed March 2, 1836, according to the Texas Military Department website.

“Texas Independence Day last year was smaller, but this year we were able to make it a lot bigger (because) we made it a more interactive event,” said Texas Traditions chair Catherine Carreon.

The petting zoo, especially the baby goats, drew the biggest crowd, said Carreon, a philosophy and economics senior. The zoo also had sheep, rabbits, chickens and ducks. 

“My favorite part was definitely the goats,” English junior Frankie Brown said. “They kept trying to eat my shirt. It was amazing.” 


Brown said they also liked the free tacos and sweet tea. 

The event featured Texas-themed games, such as corn hole, oversized Jenga, trivia and bracelet-making. The corn hole boards were painted with UT colors to look like a football field. 

The trivia questions included fun facts about Texas, such as the state bird, which is a mockingbird. If a student got the trivia question correct, they received candy, a cupcake or a little Texas flag. 

“I feel really happy with the event,” Carreon said. “Everyone seems to really be enjoying it.” 

Kennedy Stubblefield, marketing and psychology sophomore, said he and a friend were heading to the gym when they saw the petting zoo and abandoned their other plans for the baby goats. Stubblefield said he also enjoyed playing corn hole. 

“I must say the rabbits were quite disappointing,” Stubblefield said. “I had high expectations going into the rabbits, and they … were antisocial.” 

Carreon said her favorite part of the event was seeing all her hard work pay off, but the baby goats were a close second. 

“I was up until 3 a.m. last night planning … so it’s just really nice to see a lot of people really appreciate this,” Carreon said.