WACO, Texas (KWTX) Hotels are packed, traffic is jammed, and the streets are full of people as thousands converge on downtown Waco for Magnolia's annual Silobration.
Hotels are packed, traffic is jammed, and the streets are full of people as thousands converge on downtown Waco for Magnolia's annual Silobration.(Photo by Bill Gowdy)
This is the fifth year of the event organized by Magnolia owners Chip and Joanna Gaines.
"This is a huge weekend for Waco for tourism," said Carla Pendergraft of the Waco Convention Center & Visitors Bureau.
"We're getting 35,000 to 40,000 visitors just for Silobration alone."
Waco continues to grow and, as the economy continues to boom, many residents here are overflowing with pride in their city.
"It's like a rebranding of Waco. We love being a part of this restoration story, revitalization here in Waco, it's just a lot of fun," said David Ridley.
"It usually is the opposite. We're going to Austin for the weekend, but now now they're all coming here to Waco. There's a lot of pride in that," said Hunter Harlow.
Streets are shut down and traffic is slow. Still, many Wacoans are willing to accept the downside for all the excitement.
"I think that we probably need a little bit more infrastructure to make things run a little more smoothly, but it's always good to see people coming out to Waco and really supporting our city," said Julie Backus.
Tourists are coming to Waco from all over the world, including a group of women from Salt Lake City making their third trip to the Heart of Texas.
"You know, this is something that we have been looking forward to for a full year," said Sage Smith, "It's our third time here, and it's our happy place."
Local officials expect millions of dollars will flow in downtown Waco this weekend, and despite some troubled times in the city's history, what excites many Wacoans the most is that the rest of the world is recognizing the positive changes.
"People are going to come and spend their money here and make this a town you want to come visit," said Smith.