I’m a ‘Fixer Upper’ Superfan Who Visited Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas

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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.

magnolia market silos waco texas

 

Me standing in front of the Silos.

Erin McDowell/Insider

The premise of “Fixer Upper” is simple: Waco locals Chip and Joanna Gaines renovate old, often-rundown houses into people’s dream homes.

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.

magnolia market silos waco texas

 

A sign advertising Silobration at the entrance to the Silos.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

magnolia market silos waco texas

 

The Silobration 2021 program.

Erin McDowell/Insider

Silobration is free to attend and features local and Texas-based businesses, food trucks, and live music on the main lawn.

Silos Baking Co. is also located right near the entrance to the Silos.

magnolia bakery in waco texas

 

Silos Baking Co. in Waco, Texas.

Erin McDowell/Insider

The bakery was renovated during Season 4 of “Fixer Upper” and features the same clean, rustic design as the other Magnolia businesses.

Leading up the main entrance to the Silos were rows of vendors in small white tents.

magnolia market silos waco texas vendors in tents

 

Vendors lined up in tents at Silobration.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

a plant seller at magnolia market waco texas

 

A plant seller at Silobration.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

sunshine tienda founder Laura Ernst

 

An employee and Sunshine Tienda founder Laura Ernst.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

a sign advertising magnolia market silos waco texas

 

A sign advertising Silobration at the entrance to the Silos.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

sign at magnolia market silos waco texas

 

A sign advertising Magnolia Market’s holiday shop at the entrance to the Silos.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

magnolia market silos waco texas

 

Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

magnolia market silos waco texas

 

Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas.

Erin McDowell/Insider

It immediately set me up for the cozy autumn vibes I was about to experience in the store.

I stepped out of Magnolia Market onto the main lawn, where people were milling around or sitting on the grass.

magnolia market lawn at the silos waco texas

 

The main lawn at the Silos.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

magnolia market silos waco texas

 

The Silos in Waco, Texas.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

magnolia market silos waco texas

 

The main stage at the Silos.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

magnolia market waco texas fall decorations

 

A decorative fall display at the Silos.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

Overall, my visit to the Silos was a dream come true, especially for a fan of “Fixer Upper.”

magnolia market waco texas silos and ferris wheel

 

A distant view of the Silos and the Ferris wheel.

Erin McDowell/Insider

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.

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