Lifting lumber at the Homestead Fair

Photo: Ben Owen

A few miles north of Waco, Homestead Heritage—an agrarian and artisan community consisting of a few hundred families—welcomes visitors for a taste of the simple life at its annual Homestead Fair on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 23-24. Members of the community drive modern vehicles and use technology, but adopt plain dress and traditional values, and strive to master the skills of self-sufficiency—a lifestyle that draws thousands of tourists every year. At the 31st annual event, learn how to milk a cow, lend a hand at an old-fashioned timber frame barn raising, and watch a master craftsman fashion a fine Windsor chair straight from a rough log. Each day in the craft pavilion, you’ll find a wide variety of ongoing homestead craft demonstrations—pottery, quilting, weaving, broom making, basket weaving, leatherwork, and more; learn how to make your own holiday gifts, or purchase one of these specialty items onsite. Sip on hand-pressed apple cider, snack on cheeses aged in Homestead’s own climate-controlled cheese cave, and take a horse-drawn hayride around the farm, which houses numerous structures built before the American Revolution, including a water-powered gristmill.

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