15 March 2016

5 Things You Might Not Know About Waco from HGTVs Fixer Upper

When Brian, Oliver and I moved to Waco right before Bennett was born, Waco was most known on a national level for the David Koresh Branch Davidians.

I have to say it's pretty fun to see your town on TV each week.  It's been fun to live in the mecca of all things french-country and fixer-upper-ish.  So many people from around the nation travel here each weekend to experience Fixer Upper in the flesh.

But, there is only so much you can get from TV.  So, here's my list of things you might not know about Waco just from watching Fixer Upper:

1.) The closer your house is to McGregor, the more likely your house is to shake.  
When we first moved to Waco, I thought that constant rumbling and shaking of our home was because of a nearby train.  But then, why would a train just suddenly stop making noise as quickly as it started?  Then, I thought it was an earthquake.  But there were no reports in the media.  Later, I learned from a friend it was just SpaceX testing rockets.  Apparently, McGregor houses a SpaceX rocket testing site.  Check out this guy's video about it here.  Seriously, this makes our house shake, ever so slightly, several times a week.  It's the weirdest thing.

2.) MARS makes Snickers, M&M's, Starbursts and Skittles in our backyard. 
Founded in 1976, Waco's MARS plant has been known to make 85 percent of the popular Snickers candy bars produced in North America.  You would think they would offer tours to all the little school children wanting to learn how candy is made.  But this isn't Hershey, Pennsylvania.  No candy handouts or tours here.  Boo!  This high-security plant is not open to the public.  If you want your MARS candy, you'll have to drive down the street to the local grocery store. Still, it's kinda fun to drive by yellow and red M&M character statues every day on the way home from school.

The crazy number of birds in Waco are so iconic, Congress Clothing even sells tshirts with birds on it.
3.) Every Fall in Waco will remind you of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "The Birds."
Ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "The Birds?"  Well, if you're out and about on a fall evening in Waco, you will almost certainly instantly feel like you're in a horror movie scene.  The birds are called grackles and thousands of them descend on the Central Texas area at dusk each fall making an incredibly loud noise.  They arrive each Fall because they head south for the winter.  There are so many of them that Waco has even had to resort to a variety of measures to control them.  Electricity lines are filled with them as are every branch of trees.  They hang out on roofs and on the top of people's cars.  I've never seen them be aggressive but they are fear-inducing none the least.  It's creepy.  But it's also a little cool to see, too.

4.) The only traffic you'll ever see in Waco is on the street of the most current Fixer Upper episode home.  
I haven't been able to find a map of all of the Fixer Upper homes in the area.  But the one thing about living in Waco is almost everybody knows somebody who has been on the show.  So, it's relatively easy to find houses that have been redone.  But, in case you don't know which house is currently being remodeled, follow the Waco traffic.  It's the only time you'll run in to it.

Photo by Snaptastic Shots

5.) The one monument everybody in Waco loves most is the Waco Suspension Bridge.
People get their engagement photos taken on this bridge (see here).  People wear tshirts with a picture of bridge on it.  People buy coffee mugs and ornaments with a tiny suspension bridges painted on them.  It's crazy.  It's so ingrained in the Wacoan culture that I even arranged to take the kids out there for our family Christmas photos this year.  The Waco Suspension Bridge has been here since 1870 and you aren't a Wacoan if you don't fall in love with this monument of Waco history.

There are lots of great things to see and do in Waco besides the Magnolia SilosHarp Design Co., Lula Jane's, Junque in the Trunk, Sironia, Spice Village, Ninfa's, Dichotomy, the Olive Branch, Common Grounds, Cameron Park and the Zoo all come to mind as our favorites.

But the most important thing you might not know about Waco from HGTV's "Fixer Upper" is how most out-of-towners who move to Waco, initially finding themselves disappointed by the small town "have-nots", eventually fall in love with this quiet close-knit family-oriented community.

Come visit us and see for yourself,


  1. Did an Instagram post not too long ago about my love for Waco. I would not be sad at all to move back there one day. Love it and need to visit (the town and YOU) soon!

  2. This is so fascinating! I'm from New England and have never been to Texas, and this taught me so many things I never would have wondered about! What a weird and lovely town!


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