25th Annual Heritage Syrup Festival
Henderson- Many years ago, just as the East Texas Pineywoods would begin to shout with fall color families would gather at local syrup mills for a time of fellowship and trading, but most importantly, Ribbon Cane Syrup. A sweet East Texas tradition will continue this year at the Annual Heritage Syrup Festival the second Saturday of November- Nov. 9, from 9:00A.M. to 5:00P.M.
East Texans will gather in Henderson, Texas to commemorate the tradition of making ribbon cane syrup, the highlight of the only folk life festival in East Texas! Experienced syrup makers will operate the Henderson Depot Museum’s antique mule powered equipment to produce “old fashioned” cane syrup. Syrup was a treasured sweet, made from crushed sugar cane and cooked in a pan over a wood fire. East Texas old-timers still reminisce about this sweet Pineywoods traditional folk art.
The operational syrup mill is a combination of parts from two country mills. The pan used to cook the syrup is more than 200 years old and came from Richardson-Lowe Plantation and the crushing mill was part of the Leopard syrup making facility at Church Hill, Texas.
Syrup making, is located on the Depot Musem 5 acre complex at 514 N. High St. Antique cars, shopping vendors, melodrama and the children section is located in the historic downtown area. Ride one of the many of the hayride shuttles between the locations.
The Annual Heritage Syrup Festival has embraced East Texas culture and has something for everyone. While the syrup cooks, folk artists will demonstrate the techniques of lace making, rope making, basket making, blacksmithing, quilting, woodcarving and other old-time survival skills. Folk singers will entertain visitors, antique tractors will be on tap, children and animal lovers will enjoy a petting zoo, and local civic organizations offer a varied selection of food and beverages.
The festivities will sprawl over six blocks to Heritage Square, which is located in the Downtown National Register Historic District. Visitors can browse over 100 handcrafted arts and crafts booths, sample East Texas cuisine and enjoy live musical entertainment. Hay ride shuttles, sponsoired by the Henderson 4-H Club will provide transportation between the Depot Museum and Downtown Heritage Square.
The Heritage Syrup Festival has been celebrated the second Saturday in November from 9:00am-5:00pm, since its beginning November 1989. Every year approximately 25,000 people from Texas and neighboring states attend the festival each year. Make plans to visit Henderson this November for folk art, folk music and East Texas soul food.
For more information call Henderson’s Tourism Department at (866)-650-5529