Labor Day Sorghum Festival

Sorghum FestivalMonday, Sept. 4, 2017, we will have our 23rd annual Labor Day Sorghum Festival at the Homestead Craft Village, in Waco, Texas. Admission is free. Hours: 10AM – 5PM

Watch the entire process of making sweet sorghum syrup–from pressing raw cane with a horse-powered mill to cooking the sap into rich, golden brown syrup. Enjoy samples of sorghum syrup on freshly-baked cornbread made from stoneground cornmeal!

At this year’s sorghum festival, we plan to have:

  • Sorghum Pressing and Cook-off
  • Outdoor BBQ and Brick Oven Pizza
  • Homemade Ice Cream
  • Horse-Drawn Hayrides
  • Demonstrations of Fine Hand-Crafts
  • Make-your-own Activites for Children
  • Special Music at 12 Noon

More About Sorghum Syrup . . .

Over 70 years ago, sorghum syrup was a common sweetener on dinner tables throughout rural Texas. Many farmers grew small patches in their fields, then at harvest time, they would bring their cane to a nearby farm that had a mill. The families would work together to press cane and cook it down into syrup.

At our annual sorghum harvest festival, we carry on this community tradition. We hand cut the 10- to 14-foot-tall canes grown on the rich river-bottom soil of our lower land and haul them to our sorghum mill. There, we feed the raw cane stalks through a 100-year-old horse-/mule-powered press. After squeezing the cane, we allow the juice to settle for 2-3 hours in a stainless steel holding tank before channeling it downhill via gravity flow to the sorghum house. There we cook it over a wood fire.

The green juice bubbles and boils its way between the baffles of the hot, 12-foot-long pan. As the excess water evaporates, the juice makes its way to the far end of the pan where it has now become a thick, sweet, golden-brown syrup now ready for bottling.

Be sure to try a sample of this year’s syrup at the sorghum mill or at our restored homestead gristmill!

Stop by to watch and visit. We’d love to answer any questions you have about how sorghum is planted, harvested and made into sweet sorghum syrup.

Location and Driving Directions

The festival is hosted at the Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village, which is located in central Texas, 5 miles north of Waco and within easy driving distance of Dallas/Fort Worth, Temple, Belton and Austin.

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 a half mile straight ahead to the entrance.

The net proceeds from our Labor Day event sales will go towards Hurricane Harvey disaster relief for Houston.

For further information on the Sorghum Festival, call (254) 754-9600.

We look forward to seeing you there!