Labor Day Open House at Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village

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Fun, Family-Oriented Labor Day Event Showcasing Sustainable Life Skills and Fine Craftsmanship

"An opportunity to step aside from the fast pace of urban culture and experience a day in a wholesome, community atmosphere with music, hayrides, great food and real-life education on sustainable skills and crafts." - community spokesman Josiah Wheeler

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Homestead Heritage will host their 16th annual Labor Day Festival at Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village beginning at 10 am on Labor Day, September 5.

This year’s event will feature Sustainable Living Seminars and Make-Your-Own Craft Activities as well as ongoing horse-drawn hayrides, music at noon, indoor/outdoor food selections and craft demonstrations throughout the day.

“This will be a day of fun and education for the whole family,” said community spokesman Josiah Wheeler. “We really just want to give folks the opportunity to step aside from the fast pace of urban culture and experience a day in a wholesome, community atmosphere with music, hayrides, great food and real-life education on sustainable life skills and crafts.”

New to the festival this year will be a mini-series of free sustainable living seminars starting at 10 am in the Red Barn on the Ploughshare Institute for Sustainable Culture campus. Wheeler, Ploughshare’s Development Director, has noticed a steady increase in attendance at the crafts and sustainable living skills classes the school offers year-round. “Over the last few years we’ve seen a greatly increased interest in learning sustainable life skills and have had to start scheduling overflow classes in many subject areas for our spring and summer sessions. Folks from all walks of life are beginning to realize a very real need to be more self-reliant and want to rediscover and learn the skills that are necessary to provide their own basic needs.” Some of the more popular subjects of the classes will be featured in the Labor Day seminars.

Make-Your-Own activities in the Craft Village shops and the Gift Shop will be another new feature this year. “At our annual fairs and festivals we have found that Make-Your-Own Activities – which we originally provided for children of all ages – have become increasingly popular with adults as well!” Wheeler noted. Although the hot weather will limit the selections they offer outdoors during Labor Day, you’ll find projects in each air-conditioned craft shop. In Heritage Fine Furniture, you can carve a wooden spatula using only hand tools. At the nearby Potter’s House you can form a pinch pot basket out of clay. Just across the shaded footbridge, you’ll find Heritage Forge, where you can hammer and shape a spoon from pure brass. At Homestead Fiber Crafts you can weave a coaster. Be sure to stop by the water pool filled with a fleet of floating wooden sailboats – even if you don’t build a boat yourself you’ll enjoy watching the creators test their models for seaworthiness!

Throughout the day, community craftsmen will demonstrate the heritage craft skills of pottery making, blacksmithing, spinning, weaving, quilting, basketry and more in their air-conditioned shops as well as the centrally located gift shop. Allow ample time to visit each one. Take time to see the restored eighteenth- and nineteenth-century timber-frame buildings that are part of the craft village. At the 1760’s restored Gristmill you can watch the water-powered stones grind whole grains into fresh flour. Taste samples of cornbread, gingerbread, muffins, cookies and more at the mill store.

Outdoor food choices include delicious grass-fed beef hot dogs and sausage-on-a-stick hot off the grill, fresh brick oven pizza, funnel cakes and real homemade ice cream! Or enjoy lunch at Cafe Homestead, which features freshly prepared food made with locally sourced ingredients in a comfortable, air-conditioned environment.

When: Labor Day
         Monday, Sept. 5 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Seminar Schedule:

10:00 am - Sustainable Gardening – An introduction to producing your own healthy food in your own backyard or on your own farm, using natural, sustainable methods

11:00 am - Backyard Chickens and Other Poultry – An introduction to raising your own chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys and as an integral part of a healthy homestead

1:00 Pm - Beekeeping – A seminar on keeping bees as a source of honey and for pollination, an essential part of a sustainable homestead

Where: Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village just north of Waco. Admission and parking are free.    

How to get there: Brazos de Dios is located 5 miles north of Waco. Take I-35 to Elm Mott Exit 343; go west on FM 308 for 3 miles, then north on FM 933 for 1 1/2 miles. Turn west onto Halbert Lane and proceed one-half mile straight ahead to the entrance.

Contact: For more information contact Homestead Heritage at Brazos de Dios at 254-754-9600 or visit

Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village at Brazos de Dios
608 Dry Creek Rd. • Waco, Texas 76705 • 254.754.9600

Open year-round, Monday through Saturday

For more information visit or


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