I’ve long been a fan of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper” starring Chip and Joanna Gaines.
In late October, I visited their famous Silos and Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas.
I fell in love with the small-town vibe, marketplace, and friendly townsfolk.
I’ve been a fan of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper” for years and have always wanted to visit the small town of Waco, Texas, where the show is filmed.
The town of Waco has long been associated with the deadly 1993 siege of the Branch Davidians, but since “Fixer Upper” premiered in 2013, the town has undergone a drastic image change, and now Waco is well known for being the location of the show.
The Silos, where Chip and Joanna Gaines’ storefront Magnolia Home is located, opened in 2015 and has been a source of tourism for the town ever since.
When I arrived in Waco after a two-hour Greyhound bus trip from Austin, I was pleasantly surprised to see the area in full swing with the Silos’ annual Silobration.
According to locals I spoke with, Silobration is commonly referred to as the Silos’ “birthday party” and is held every year, though it didn’t occur last year due to COVID-19.
Two friendly Silos employees swiftly handed me a program and directed me towards the market and a long line of vendors set up in tents.
Silobration is free to attend and features local and Texas-based businesses, food trucks, and live music on the main lawn.
Walking up to the market, I immediately noticed the number of businesses owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Magnolia Press, the couple’s coffee shop, offers classic brews, specialty drinks, and delicious pastries. I got to try some desserts the next day at Magnolia Table, the couple’s sit-down restaurant located a couple of miles away.
Silos Baking Co. is also located right near the entrance to the Silos.
The bakery was renovated during Season 4 of “Fixer Upper” and features the same clean, rustic design as the other Magnolia businesses.
The bakery appeared to be a popular spot for visitors to the Silobration – a line of customers stretched out the door and around the side of the building.
I didn’t have time to stop and wait in line, but I can only imagine the goodies that were on offer.
Leading up the main entrance to the Silos were rows of vendors in small white tents.
There were dozens of different shops offering everything from wide-brim hats to pet bandanas, ceramic dishes and mugs, and home decor.
An adorable trailer was converted into a plant store.
While I definitely didn’t have room to take a plant home with me to New York, the quaint display at Ferny’s was certainly tempting.
I stopped at one of the jewelry booths to talk to Sunshine Tienda founder Laura Ernst.
When asked what it was like to be part of this year’s Silobration, Sunshine Tienda founder Laura Ernst told Insider it was “a huge deal.”
Ernst said that although they’ve set up shop at the Silos’ spring celebration in the past, this is their first Silobration as a nearly 7-year-old business.
“Especially after the festival was closed last year due to the pandemic, having this amount of people come to Silobration and buy from vendors like us is amazing. It’s so important for local businesses,” she said. “The people here are so kind, and it’s definitely a different, more excited energy this year.”
Finally, I arrived at the main entrance to the Silos.
Displayed proudly above the entrance was an ornate sign advertising Silobration, flanked by trendy pampas grass floral arrangements.
Right at the entrance, I noticed a sign advertising a “first look” at Magnolia Market’s holiday shop.
Even though I visited during the last weekend of October, I was incredibly excited to get a peek at some of the holiday cheer to come in the next few months.
One of the main attractions at the Silos is Magnolia Market, a home and apparel store.
The outside of the store featured the Magnolia logo and simple black light fixtures, which were both in fitting with Joanna Gaines’ design style.
A large pampas grass floral display greeted me at the entrance, along with an inspirational quote.
It immediately set me up for the cozy autumn vibes I was about to experience in the store.
The store featured an eclectic mix of home goods, heavenly smelling candles, floral arrangements, and other Gaines-approved merchandise.
It seemed like the perfect one-stop-shop for holiday gift shopping, especially for a food-lover or someone who loves vintage-inspired home decor. After a few minutes of browsing, I decided to evade the long line and return the next day to snag a couple of gifts for family and friends.
I stepped out of Magnolia Market onto the main lawn, where people were milling around or sitting on the grass.
Most people seemed to be enjoying the perfect fall weather. While it’s usually still quite hot in Texas this time of year, it was slightly cooler, allowing people to break out their fall attire and spend leisurely time outside.
Looking up, I saw the old silos that give the marketplace its name.
The silos date back to 1950, when they were used as part of the Valley Mills Cotton Oil Company, according to Waco History. The facility changed ownership over the years before falling completely vacant in the 1990s.
The property was purchased by the Gaines family in 2014 with plans to convert it into the shopping destination we now know as the Silos.
A sign underneath the Silos advertised the vendors open for business during Silobration, as well as the upcoming Christmas at the Silos event.
I couldn’t help but envy the locals of Waco. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut, but we had no major seasonal events to bring the community together.
The entire experience reminded me of the small town of Stars Hollow in “Gilmore Girls,” where it perpetually seems to be fall and winter and fun festivals are constantly going on.
However, despite advertising its upcoming holiday event, fall was definitely still in full swing.
As a New Yorker, it can be difficult to get into the fall spirit in a city filled with looming skyscrapers. However, visiting the small town of Waco was a breath of fresh air. I really enjoyed all the autumnal touches placed around the Silos.
The main stage area featured live bands and musical acts.
I stopped for a bit to listen to the music and take in the festivities.
My next stop was along the rows of shops at the Silos.
Different stores sold everything from kids’ apparel to home goods.
I was surprised to find a historic-looking church while walking around the Silos.
According to the Magnolia website, the church was built in 1894 and is one of the oldest in Waco. It was recently restored and opened as a nondenominational church at the Silos as a place for visitors to come and have a quiet moment.
The church was a perfect place for respite among the buzz and festivities of Silobration.
Though I don’t consider myself a religious person, it was still nice to step inside and take a little break in one of the antique-looking pews.
One of my final stops was to grab a drink at a local food truck.
There were a variety of different food trucks selling seafood, hot dogs, and tons of other food options.
I decided to grab a lemonade from Pop’s, one of the event’s food vendors.
The sweet, yet perfectly sour, lemonade gave me the refreshment I needed after walking around the event for multiple hours.
I also noticed a Ferris wheel in the distance.
While the Ferris wheel was closed due to high winds on the day I visited, it was open the next day for people to go on.
Overall, my visit to the Silos was a dream come true, especially for a fan of “Fixer Upper.”
The plethora of activities, shopping, and friendly vendors and locals made the day one I won’t soon forget. In fact, it had me questioning why I choose to live in a large, expensive city like New York when I’m so drawn to small-town life.
Being able to walk around, stop and talk to people, and wander into a fantastic local bakery are all experiences I could have in New York City, but definitely without the abundance of rustic charm.
Maybe someday I’ll make the move to Waco, but for now, I’ll definitely come back for a weekend getaway … perhaps even around the holidays.
Read the original article on Insider