SOURCE: Galveston Historical Foundation

Galveston Historical Foundation

July 11, 2016 11:34 ET

Galveston Heritage Festival Returns August 6 With Addition of Sacred Places Tour

GALVESTON ISLAND, TX--(Marketwired - July 11, 2016) - Enjoy music, food and entertainment from numerous cultural groups and organizations throughout Texas while learning more about the early days of immigration through the Port of Galveston at Galveston Historical Foundation's 2nd Annual Galveston Heritage Festival. In addition to activities held throughout the day at historic Kempner Park, 27th and Avenue O, this year's event also includes the Sacred Places Tour, featuring five area churches. Tickets are available for purchase online at Combo tickets for both the Heritage Festival and Sacred Places Tour are $20 for adults, $18 for youth ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. Individual tickets for either event are also available at discounted pricing. Specially priced GHF Member tickets are also available by calling 409-765-3405.

"The festival is our time to celebrate the thousands of families that came into the Port of Galveston from around the world," explains Dwayne Jones, GHF Executive Director. "We will recognize the many cultures that made the island an international center in the 19th and 20th centuries."

The Galveston Heritage Festival will highlight the bold vision and contributions these groups made to our history. The event will be set in historic Kempner Park and the c.1880 Garten Verein pavilion, and feature a Karbach Brewing Company craft beer garden, live entertainment on an outdoor stage as well as lectures and exhibits inside the 1880 Garten Verein. Additionally, descendants of immigrants who came through the Port of Galveston from the early 1800s to the mid-20th century will be on hand throughout the park, sharing their cultural heritage through vendor tents, exhibits and more.

Sacred Places Tour

The popular tour benefits GHF's ongoing restoration of St. Joseph's Church, the oldest wooden church in Galveston and the oldest German Catholic church in Texas. A wide range of religious traditions and building styles will be featured, highlighting the island's rich religious heritage while showcasing the depth and range of Galveston's sacred architecture.

"Galveston's Sacred Places are a significant part of our history. When you tour these great buildings you can learn the story of some of the lives of generations of Galvestonians," states Jones. "This tour is a glimpse into our past and one that will broaden your idea of what living on the island is really like."

Churches included on this year's tour are; Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Saint Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, St. Joseph's German Catholic Church, Swedish Zion Lutheran Church (Christ Chapel), and St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica.

Lectures and Entertainment

The festival will host numerous lectures and entertainers throughout the day. Lectures include discussions on Galveston's Immigration Station, German Texas Public Buildings and Painted Churches, Czech and Wendish heritage, genealogy research and more.

Live entertainment and special presentations will also be held throughout the day on the festival's outdoor stage with performances by; The TubaMeisters, Revels Houston, Enzian Baum, cultural dance groups, The Auf Gehts, and more and will conclude with a special performance inside the 1880 Garten Verein by noted Czech polka band Mark Halata and Texavia from 6-8 p.m.

Record Your Heritage For The Library Of Congress

Guests to this year's festival will have the opportunity to record their own heritage as part of the program. This program was created as a global platform for listening, connecting, and sharing stories of the human experience. The finished product will be uploaded to the website and to the American Folklife collection in the Library of Congress. Advance signup preferred.

Special Outdoor Photo Exhibit

Specially selected from Galveston Historical Foundation's Preservation Resource Center, 10 large format images will be displayed throughout Kempner Park. These photos, many of which have never been publicly viewed, showcase Galveston's incredible immigration history.

Win A Spot On A 2017 ELISSA Day Sail

One lucky guest to this year's Heritage Festival will also have a spot reserved onboard the official Tall Ship of Texas during its 2017 daysails. 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA is one of only three ships of her kind that still actively sails. Each festival guest will receive a passport with information on many of the groups who originally entered through Galveston. Inside the passport is a contest form to be delivered to the GHF retail booth at the festival.

Vendors, Pop-up Exhibits and The Heritage Beer Hall

Located inside the 1880 Garten Verein, guests will be able to enjoy air-conditioned lectures as well as a specially curated pop-up exhibit. This exhibit features 25 pieces on loan from public submission, including family photographs and objects highlighting local individuals' connections to Galveston's immigration movement. Additionally, Karbach Brewing Company and 2-Row Distributing will be presenting special beer tastings throughout the day. Enjoy numerous styles of craft beer in the comfort of a shaded tent, it's the perfect spot to relax among the sights and sounds of the festival. The festival grounds will also feature numerous vendors, groups and children's programming.


Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF) was formed as the Galveston Historical Society in 1871 and reincorporated in 1954 as a non-profit organization devoted to historic preservation and history in Galveston County. Over the last 60 years, GHF has expanded its mission to encompass community redevelopment, historic preservation advocacy, maritime preservation, coastal resiliency and stewardship of historic properties. GHF embraces a broader vision of history and architecture that encompasses advancements in environmental and natural sciences and their intersection with historic buildings and coastal life, and conceives of history as an engaging story of individual lives and experiences on Galveston Island from the 19th century to the present day.

For more information, please contact Will Wright, Director of Communications and Special Events at 409-765-3404, or visit

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