The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Buffalo Soldiers program celebrates its 20th anniversary during Black History Month with living history events at three Texas state parks.
The Buffalo Soldiers will set up camp from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center near Houston on Feb. 20 and Blanco State Park between Austin and San Antonio on Feb. 27.
The Buffalo Soldiers open house events will include hands-on interpretive activities for families and visitors of all ages that center around daily life for soldiers and civilians on the Texas Frontier during the late 1800s. Activities will include animal tracking lessons, cane pole fishing, a frontier baseball game, Buffalo Soldier and Native American history lessons, a cooking camp and more.
The Buffalo Soldiers were the African-American soldiers who served on the Western frontier from 1866 to 1948, building roads, telegraphs and forts. Some even served as the first national park rangers. Today, the Buffalo Soldiers are a group of reenactors who represent the original soldiers, performing in Texas state parks and encouraging outdoor skills and recreation. To find out more about the Buffalo Soldiers program, go here.
Other 20th anniversary celebrations will happen throughout the year. The Buffalo Soldiers will stop at the Buffalo Soldier National Museum in Houston on March 5. Later in the spring, Lake Brownwood State Park will host a celebration on May 14. The anniversary open house will feature a full buffalo soldier encampment with storytelling, activities and a recognition ceremony for those who helped the program become what it is today.
All Buffalo Soldiers activities are free, open to the public and available to all ages. Park entrance fees still apply, though admission for children 12 and under is free. For more Buffalo Soldiers events, click here.