The city’s annual Cotton Fest was celebrated Saturday, sponsored this year by the Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market.

The event celebrates Waxahachie’s and Ellis County’s heritage of cotton farming with events and demonstrations designed to educate young and old about cotton and the role it played in the community’s history.

Sponsored in previous years by the Downtown Merchants Association, the event focuses on providing activities that are educational and family-oriented.

Activities and demonstrations taking place on the south side of the courthouse square as well as inside and in front of the Ellis County Museum included spinners, weavers and quilters, cotton picking and ginning, a petting zoo and a live performance by Lone Star Glory Band on the courthouse steps.

Farmers Market vendors were available with their fresh vegetables, fruits and plants, as well as refreshments, crafts and wares. Waxahachie resident and spinner Judy Townes was among those demonstrating the craft at the event.

She spun light brown yarn from natural brown cotton while sitting at her spinning wheel in front of the Ellis County Museum. Townes demonstrated for the onlookers while explaining that brown, as well as pink, green and blue, cotton is grown naturally and usually from seed passed from one hand spinner to another, since only white cotton is grown commercially.

“White cotton is grown commercially because it can be easily dyed,” said Townes, saying also that cotton fibers are “shorter and more slippery” than wool.

E-mail Jennifer at jennifer.howell@waxahachiedailylight.com