Thousands of people have flocked to Huntsville over the past two days to experience firsthand what life was like during the time of Sam Houston.

The General Sam Houston Folk Festival, which will continue through today at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, will allow festival-goers to experience reenactments and demonstrations, live music, crafts and food with a focus on Sam Houston’s 1859 gubernatorial run.

The festival was started in the 1980s to provide funds for when state lawmakers eliminated the museum’s budget. The people of Huntsville, Walker County and Sam Houston State University rallied to the museum’s rescue with fundraising efforts, including an annual festival and a membership organization dubbed the New Army of the Republic of Texas.

“Attendees can expect to explore Sam Houston’s two Huntsville homes and step back in time to learn from various groups demonstrating 19th century skills, such as cooking, glassblowing, blacksmithing, fire starting, spinning and weaving,” Derrick Birdsall added. “The children’s tent and games are popular spots during the festival, because the kids get to make a craft and try their hand at games the Houston children would have played with.”

“This event is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Huntsville’s and Texas’ most important historical figure,” Birdsall said. “As the home of Sam Houston, Huntsville is still influenced by his character and contribution to Texas and the United States and we look forward to the community response.”

The folk festival will be open from noon to 5 p.m. today.