Pay Respect

How to Celebrate the Life of Barbara Bush in Houston

Where and how to honor Barbara Bush this weekend.

By Gwendolyn Knapp April 19, 2018

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The First Lady in 1989.

Rest in peace, Barbara Bush, legendary former First Lady, keeper of wit, advocate of literacy, and matriarch of one of the country's biggest political dynasties. Despite your political leanings or grievances, it is pretty astounding when you consider that she was only the second woman in history, aside from Abigail Adams, to be both wife to a president (married for 73 years!) and mother of another president.

Here are the details regarding celebrations for the life of Barbara Bush, which are already taking place downtown and will be ongoing through the weekend.  Remember to be patient, and compassionate to your fellow Houstonians. Traffic and foot traffic is going to be insane. May we also suggest heading to Ninfa's on Navigation to have a margarita in her honor. She was a regular at the East End restaurant, and reportedly loved the tacos al carbon and enchiladas.

Houston Public Library

Today, April 19 through April 30

Visitors have been leaving flowers and pausing to remember the former first lady, who was, essentially, the greatest advocate for adult literacy that the White House has ever seen. The plaza here is soon to be named in her honor as the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza. 

Hermann Square

Tonight, April 19 | 6 p.m.

Flags are at half-staff at city hall, and this evening, thousands of people are expected to gather at Hermann Square to celebrate the life of Bush (arrive early and godspeed with parking). Starting at 6 p.m., the public event includes a performance by the Houston Children's Choir, and remarks from clergymen of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Congregation Beth Israel, and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Attendees are urged to wear blue, and, if they're so inclined, a string of pearls in Bush's honor.

St. Martin's Church

Friday, April 20 | Noon to midnight

Bush will lie in repose for a public viewing at St. Martin's Church, 717 Sage Road in Uptown, but don't try to drive there or walk up. Catch the Houston Metro shuttle service departing from Second Baptist, 6400 Woodway Drive. It's the only way you'll be allowed in.


Saturday, April 21 | 2:30 p.m.

Nearly 1,500 attendees, including former presidents and first ladies, will begin gathering for Bush's private funeral at St. Martin's on Saturday as early as 8:30 a.m. The procession will reportedly run through Memorial Park on its way from Houston to College Station, where Bush will be buried at the Presidential Library. However, there is no map of a Houston-portion of the motorcade available as of right now, only a map of the route in College Station, where you can also watch (and should be there well before the projected 2:30 p.m. arrival of the motorcade, as the burial itself is at 3 p.m.) 

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