New Fort Worth festival draws visitors to flourishing south side

FORT WORTH -- Terry and Angela Smith had never even heard of wassail.

A quick Google search told them wassail referred to an old English drink of hot mulled cider.

With that in mind, they stopped by the Southside Pie and Wassail Festival on Sunday outside Broadway Baptist Church to try the drink and hang out with friends.

"It's delicious," said Angela Smith, who lives in Fort Worth, taking a sip of wassail. "It tastes like fall."

The first-time festival aimed to bring together the community, local farmers and businesses for an old-fashioned gathering, while drawing visitors to a less-developed part of Fort Worth’s flourishing south side. Just off South Main Street, the event was sponsored by the Southside Urban Market, a new Saturday farmers market, and Brewed, a relatively new gastropub on Magnolia Avenue.

Children stood in line to have their faces painted, while others played old-fashioned Four Square. Local farmers sold leafy greens, pecans and winter squash, while bakers offered miniature and regular-sized pies. A pie walk replaced the traditional cake walk.

“We want to bring together people who have similar interests,” said Stacy Edwards, a Fort Worth resident who helped plan the festival. “And we really want to spur the same level of excitement around South Main that we’ve seen on Magnolia.”

The chef at Brewed, which supplied the wassail, began testing recipes about two weeks ago before perfecting the spicy apple cider drink, said Miranda Holland, general manager of Brewed.

“It’s very festive,” Holland said. “It’s like Thanksgiving in a cup.”

Holding her cup of wassail, Krystina Disney, a Fort Worth resident, said she loved the idea of the festival.

“Once I heard there was pie,” she said, “I was in.”