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Unwind in Winedale

Just five minutes outside of Round Top, the 200-acre educational center and living-history museum known as Winedale shines come springtime. On March 20-21, one of Texas’ most respected craft shows, Winedale’s Spring Festival & Texas Crafts Exhibition, takes place amid the 11 major historical structures gathered in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s by Houston arts patron Ima Hogg.

Some say the festival resembles a county fair. Homemade-food and drink vendors abound. Forty or so contemporary Texas potters, weavers, woodworkers, furniture makers, jewelers, and other master craftspeople display their wares and demonstrate their skills, taking the occasional break to lounge on an 1860s porch or beneath a stately shade tree. Nearby, other artisans practice the arts of a century ago—such as goose-plucking, lacemaking, corn-shucking, and fiddle-playing.

On stages set up throughout the site, blues, polka, and Texas-style country bands will entertain, and if you’re a musician yourself, you can even attend workshops in banjo-playing, fiddling, and guitar-picking. Shakespearean performances, cowboy storytelling, a marionette show, and Texas folk-foods demonstrations make it hard to decide how to spend your time.

Of course, you may simply want to wander the grounds. Taste some German strudel and listen to a cowboy tall tale. Admire a potter’s handiwork and hold a wind chime into the spring breeze. Marvel at a pot-bellied stove or a leaded-glass window from a century ago. At Winedale’s springtime festival, Texas’ colorful past comes to life. The event takes place in Winedale, on Farm-to-Market Road 2714, four miles east of Round Top. Admission: $5, $2 age 12 and younger and students with ID. For more information, write to Box 11, Round Top 78954-0111; 409/278-3530.

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From the March 1999 issue.

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