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La Marque, Texas, December 12, 2017
— Beginning in 2019, Texas Independence Trail Ride Association plans to make Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park (HBP) the first stop on their seven-day journey to Houston’s Memorial Park as they participate in the statewide trail ride to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Currently, the group leaves from Shenanigans in Texas City. According to Assistant Trail Boss and La Marque native Larry Myrick, the stabilized ground, paved roads and shelters at HBP prompted the move to La Marque.
“Highland Bayou Park is better for our rigs, offers easier access and is more convenient for our trailers,” said Myrick. “The trail ride is in February, so due to timing, we plan to start from Shenanigans for the 2018 Trail Ride. For the 2019 ride, we’ll set up camp at Highland Bayou Park. I was raised in La Marque and am looking forward to the new location in my hometown.”
Citizens of La Marque can still enjoy the 2018 trail ride. On February 17, 2018, the Texas Independence Trail team will travel down Texas Avenue on their way to Galveston County Fairgrounds at Jack Brooks Park.
Independence Trail 2018 Route through La Marque:
Leave Shenanigans; L on 34th; R on FM 1765; R on Willis; Break in vacant lot across from Wong’s Restaurant (2.7 mi); R on cut through road between Yamaha & Jack ‘n Box; R on Noble (before I45 feeder); L on Monticello; L into Park ‘n Ride for Break (6.1 mi); L out of Park ‘n Ride cross Delaney & Century; R on I45 feeder; L on FM 1764; L into Joe’s Feed Store for Lunch – enter 2nd driveway (next to Dillon’s Liquor) (9 mi); L on FM 1764; L on Ave L; R on 6th St. enter softball field for Break (11.2 mi); Leaving break – L on 6th St. L: on 11th St. (at “T”); R on Ave I; L on Hwy 6; L into Galveston County Fairgrounds/Jack Brooks Park
Myrick said there is still a chance Texas Independence Trail Association will start from Highland Bayou Park, but it depends on the weather.
“If it rains, we’ll go ahead and move to La Marque for the 2018 ride,” he said. “It’s tough to pull 150 trailers through the mud!”
The Texas Independence Trail Ride was formed in 1961. The group encourages families to ride together and are known on the trail as the “family ride”. Generations of families ride together every year and the annual event has become a family reunion of sorts. Texas Independence is a nonprofit organization that strives to stimulate, promote and encourage the love of horses, riding and good fellowship. Preserving Cowboy Heritage is a tradition of their ride, as well as encouraging participation in Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. For information, find them on Facebook or email email@example.com.
According to www.rodeohouston.com, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trail Ride started in 1952, when four men traveled on horseback from Brenham, Texas. Today, more than 3,000 trail riders partake in the tradition each year. Riders hit the trail in an attempt to recreate the Old West, and in doing so, find a common ground that links us all to the Rodeo.
Trail Ride Facts:
In January of 1952, the first Trail Ride took place with four men from Brenham, Texas.
One year later in 1953, 80 people signed up to start the Salt Grass Trail Ride. By 1954, 800 people were participating.
Today, more than 3,000 riders saddle up from all directions, including Louisiana and Mexico.
11 Trail Rides participate in the Downtown Rodeo Parade.
More than 1,300 miles are covered by 11 Trial Rides.
Longest Distance = 239 miles: Mission Trail Ride begins in San Antonio, TX
Shortest Distance = 71.5 miles: Valley Lodge Trail Ride begins in Brookshire, Texas.
All Trail Rides are led by Trail Bosses, who are responsible for ensuring safety.
Many of the horses on the ride are rescued animals.
Some teams participate with three-century-old wagons.
Many of the trail rides include family members and generations of all ages.
Some trail rides distribute scholarships to area students and visit schools to share the history of the Show and trail rides.
About Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park: Highland Bayou Park is a 230-acre nature park in La Marque, Texas. It is home of La Marque's annual family-friendly music festival, Bayou Fest. Beginning in 2019, the park will be the first stop on Texas Independence Trail Ride Association’s ride to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The park features baseball fields, playgrounds, canoeing, hiking, nature trail, bird sanctuary with bird watching, observation deck, tennis court, basketball court, horseshoe pit, shade shelters and bar-b-que facilities. Highland Bayou Park features a large parking area and public rental of the pavilion. The park is open from dawn to dusk, unless the city is hosting a special event. For information, visit parks.cityoflamarque.org.
About the City of La Marque: The City of La Marque is strategically situated in Galveston County, 15 miles south of Houston and four miles north of Galveston. La Marque is the second-fastest-growing city in the County with an estimated population of 16,000, an area of 14.25 square miles and boasting 14.3 miles of I-45 frontage—more than any other city in Galveston County. Citizens enjoy easy, breezy coastal living, abundant housing options and the security of a hurricane protection levee system. La Marque is a sportsman’s paradise and offers access to world-class medical, travel and entertainment options. Citizens and visitors enjoy Bayou Fest, an early fall concert series and BBQ Cook Off offering free family fun; Magical Winter Lights, a 52-day holiday lantern festival; and Crawfish Bash, an annual crawfish cook off that earned a Guinness World Record in 2017. For business, La Marque offers prime I-45 frontage, creative incentives, an abundance of commercial property, a budding downtown revitalization and build-to-suit opportunities. La Marque is the Gateway to the Gulf and the Hub of the Mainland. Discover the possibilities at www.cityoflamarque.org.