New Alternative Energy Exhibit and Kid’s Barn Raising at Homestead Fair

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Demonstrations and exhibits showcase a new world of possibilities at Homestead Fair this Thanksgiving Weekend

Learning how to meet our energy needs more sustainably requires a paradigm shift in how we view energy’s role in our life.

New events and features will highlight this year’s 24th annual Homestead Fair held on Thanksgiving weekend at Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village in central Texas. Along with the dozens of hand-on activities, exhibits, displays and demonstrations scheduled for this year’s Fair, the new events are expected to be popular additions.

  • Mini Barn-Raising Activity for Kids ages 8 to 13
  • Timber Frame Raising – a 1790’s Historic Home
  • New Exhibit – Sustainable Alternatives for the Home: Power, Cooking and Water

Mini Barn Raising – A Free Hands-On Activity for Children

The mini-barn raising and demonstration will take place on both Friday (Nov. 25) and Saturday (Nov. 26) at 12:40 p.m. Children ages 8-13 are invited to participate in the raising of an 8' x 10' scaled model of an historic timber-framed barn. Participants will work together as a team to raise the sections of the frame and use mallets to fasten the barn timbers together with traditional wooden pegs known as trunnels. Check the visitors guide and maps at the Fairground for the location.

Old-Fashioned Timber Frame Raising – 18th-Century Historic Home

Likewise, adults will have the opportunity to lend a hand at the raising of a circa 1790's timber-framed house from the historic MohawkValley in upper New York state. This hands-on activity will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Friday (Nov. 25) and Saturday (Nov. 26) and again at 1:30 p.m. on both days. This same 20' x 32' frame will be auctioned off during the Fair, with proceeds to support the non-profit Ploughshare Institute For Sustainable Culture.

Sustainable Alternatives for the Home: Power, Cooking and Water

Several new sustainable living displays and exhibits will be among the booths at this year’s Fair.

Seminar teacher and sustainability consultant Derek Varejcka, states “Learning how to meet our energy needs more sustainably requires a paradigm shift in how we view energy’s role in our life.” In his half hour Sustainable Energy Alternatives presentation, Varejcka will introduce small-scale renewable energy and zero energy alternatives.

Paul Wieboldt, manager of the Fair's alternative energy exhibit, will present seminars on Home Energy, Water and Comfort. Rainwater collection, solar power and tools to reduce energy will be demonstrated and discussed.Visitors will be able to experience a host of simple, practical tools and energy alternatives.

“Americans make up-less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet consume 26 percent of the world’s energy,” says Wieboldt. “It is difficult to imagine how we can reduce our energy consumption or where to start, but the opportunity to make a difference starts with simple lifestyle changes and energy reducing strategies in our homes.”

Seminars on Sustainable Alternatives for the Home will include the following topics. (Check online or consult the Fair visitor’s guide for scheduled times.)

  •     Sustainable Energy Alternatives

     A fresh perspective on energy usage and an introduction to small-scale renewable energy sources and zero energy alternatives

  • Simple Steps for Home Energy, Water and Comfort

    A discussion about steps you can take in your home today to conserve energy and water, lower your energy usage and prepare for renewable alternatives

  • Sustainable Building using Local Materials

    A discussion of the possibilities of using materials that are local and sustainable in constructing a home.

    Other sustainability seminars include:

  • The Human Dimension of Sustainable Culture
  • Technology, Values and the Effort to Develop a Sustainable Culture
  • Sustainable Building using Local Materials
  • Small-Scale Family Farming
  • Sustainable Gardening
  • Backyard Chickens and Other Poultry
  • Beekeeping
  • Grass-fed Beef and Milk
  • Homesteading and Children
  • Food Preservation
  • Cheese Making
  • Whole Grain Bread Making

The 3-day Homestead Fair is a fun and educational festival for the whole family. Each day dozens of ongoing homestead craft and agricultural skills demonstrations will be presented throughout the Fairgrounds. Visitors will find plenty of hands-on activities for young and old alike. A collection of the finest handcraft work of 2011 by the award-winning master craftsmen and renowned teachers at Homestead Heritage will be housed in the Masterpiece Gallery.

Scenic hayrides, carriage rides and horseback riding will run all three days. Live music begins every day at 2:30 and on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00. Booths in the food court and fairground kiosks serve an assortment of multicultural foods all day. For holiday shopping, visit the Craft Pavilion and adjacent craft booths, Fiber Crafts Shop, Heritage Forge Blacksmith Shop, Homestead Gristmill and Brazos Valley Cheese.
Hours: Friday & Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm; Sunday, 12 noon to 5 pm
No admission; Parking pass – $10 at the gate, $7 online in advance. Good for all 3 days.

Homestead Fair • 608 Dry Creek Rd. • Waco, TX 76705 • 254.754.9600
For more information visit


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