The Come and Take It Celebration

Each fall, on the first full weekend of October, the citizens of Gonzales gather to celebrate the first shots of Texas Independence in a three-day festival called “Come and Take It.” The celebration has changed over the years, and is considered a local tradition for surrounding communities, a great homecoming excuse for those living away from Gonzales, and remembered fondly by all who participate.

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    Packets, entry forms, and moreDOWNLOAD APPLICATIONS

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    2017 Miss Gonzales

    Apply to become Miss Gonzales! This is an entirely new process with different rules. Please download the packet and read carefully to become familiar with the new changes.

    The Queen and her Court attend numerous parades during the year, as Ambassadors of the Gonzales Chamber, as well as Gonzales County. This is big responsibility, but an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience. Winners have the opportunity to travel to many places and meet lots of people while having fun and representing Gonzales.

    Vendor Booth Application Form

    Submit for a 10 ‘ by 10’ vendor space for the 2017 Come and Take It Celebration. Downloadable PDF includes all instructions and a three-page form. Form can be mailed to the Chamber, dropped off, or emailed online. Forms submitted online are not considered submitted until payment is received by the Chamber of Commerce.

    5k Run/Walk Entry Form

    Register online by clicking here or download the form below and mail it in.

    Art Show Entry Form

    Students and adults are encouraged to enter in ten different medium categories. Please download the rules below, and use the following links for submitting artwork:

    Texas T-Bone Cook-Off Entry Form

    Download the schedule and rules for the Guadalupe Valley Cattlewomen Texas T-Bone Cook-off!

    Gonzales County Area Go-Texan Quilt Contest

    Individuals and groups are allowed to enter quilts in eight different divisions. Download the packet for complete rules.

    Festival Sponsorship Packet

    Looking to help sponsor the Come and Take It Celebration? Now is your chance to differentiate yourself from the competition by supporting the most historic celebration in Texas! Download the Sponsorship Packet below.

    Sponsorship packet is due on August 15th!

    Parade Entry Form

    Show up and be seen! The parade is one of the most anticipated events of the celebration. A great way to support the community and promote your organization at the same time. Apply today!

    All parade entries are due by September 26th, see packet for a tiered pricing calendar.

    Gonzales County Area Go Texan Washer Tournament

    Grab your buddies and sign up for our washer tournament, brought to you by Gonzales County Area Go Texan!

    Chili & Bean Cook-Off Entry Form

    Download the rules and schedule, and make plans to join our Chili & Bean Cookoff, happening the Sunday morning of Come & Take It.

    Come & Take It Canoe Race

    Plan to participate in this fun, outdoor event brought to you by the Come & Take It Association and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. Event happens Saturday, October 7,2017. Aerial map of the river route is included in this downloadable form.

    Classic Car Show Entry Form

    Enter your favorite ride in this annual contest hosted by the Gonzales Classic Cruisers. Compete for Best of Show or enter in one of 28 classes.

    Chicken Flying Contest Entry Form

    Be a part of one of the most entertaining contests of Come and Take It! Bring this form and and entry fee to Come and Take It. Only the first 40 entries will be considered.

    Map of Festival Grounds




    The History of Come and Take It

    The Come and Take It Celebration commemorates the firing of the first shot of the Texas revolution on Oct. 2, 1835, which took place near Gonzales. Come and help us celebrate history with the firing of the first shot!

    The town of Gonzales was established by Empresario Green DeWitt in 1825, two and one-half miles east of the confluence of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers. It was the westernmost Anglo settlement until the close of the Texas Revolution and was named in honor of Don Rafael Gonzales, provisional governor of Coahuila, Mexico and Texas. The town was laid out in the shape of a cross, with seven squares. During the colonial period of 1825 to 1835, there were many problems with Comanche and Tonkawa Indians, but Gonzales flourished. It was the thriving capital of the DeWitt colony by 1833. In 1831 the Mexican government loaned the citizens of Gonzales a six-pound cannon for protection against the Indians. In September of 1835, as political unrest grew, Mexican officials at San Antonio de Bexar demanded the cannon be returned. A corporal with five soldiers and an oxcart were first sent by Col. Ugartechea, Bexar military commander, to Gonzales. The corporal carried a request that the small reinforced cannon, a bronze six-pounder, be returned to the Mexican Army. Andrew Ponton refused to relinquish it, stalling for time, the little cannon was buried in George W. Davis’ peach orchard, near the Guadalupe River.

    Lieutenant Castaneda and 150 mounted soldiers were sent to “take” the cannon. When the soldiers appeared on the west bank of the Guadalupe River, there were only 18 men in Gonzales, but these ‘Old Eighteen’ stood at the river in defiance, denied the Mexicans a crossing by hiding the ferry and sent out a call for volunteers to assist them. As the soldiers scouted the river for a place to cross, they moved upriver a short distance, near the present-day community of Cost and camped for the night. There, in the early-morning hours of Oct. 2, 1835, the colonists crossed the river with their cannon, surprising the troops and waving their hastily fashioned flag, which proclaimed “Come and Take It.” Almost immediately the cannon was fired, killing one of Castenada’s men and scattering the rest, forcing them to retreat to San Antonio de Bexar. Thus was fired the shot that set off the struggle for Texas independence from Mexico. When the smoke cleared, the Mexican troops had taken off. The Texas Revolution had begun. 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 gather to celebrate their Texas heritage in a three-day festival called “Come and Take It.”