Grab a fork and head out to the National Maple Syrup Festival in Indiana. The event is held the first weekend of the month in March at Medora, Indiana. The National Maple Syrup Festival is a weekend of tasty fun for the entire family. Visitors to the festival will enjoy not only the sweet taste of maple syrup, but actually watch the sugary mixture turn from sap into table ready syrup. The festival is open from 8 am-5 pm Adults are charged $8 for a one-day pass, and $12 for a two-day pass. Children 15 and younger can enjoy the National Maple Syrup Festival for a daily fee of $4 each.
The National Maple Syrup Festival features an active sugar bush, and allows visitors to touch and learn about the process of harvesting syrup. The Ole McMaple’s Petting Zoo will also be onsite for the pleasure of children during the festival. Live music and a children’s play area will keep festival crowds entertained, as they taste the multitude syrup varieties at the festival. Children can ride a miniature pony, and even steer a goat card at the festival’s petting zoo. Artists are also on hand providing free face painting during the weekend event. Little ones can also fill a maple leaf shaped bottle with colorful sand, and participate in pioneer period games.
Syrup craft and trade interactive booths allow professionals to highlight their processing procedures, and share new and in production varieties of maple syrup. The National Maple Syrup Festival is held at Burton’s Maplewood Farm in the southern section of the state. Visitors can enjoy fluffy pancakes with 100% pure and natural maple syrup all day long. The tasting and sampling of maple syrups are included in the admission price.
The National Maple Syrup Festival displays syrup from all syrup producing state in the union. Festival organizers and staff clearly enjoy what they do for a living. Smiles are as prevalent at the festival as maple syrup itself. The welcoming nature of “Hoosier Hospitality” is evident from the beginning to the final call for syrup at the festival.
Festival highlights include the National Maple Syrup Taste-Off contest. Syrup categories include divisions for the hobbyists, family farm and master “tapper”. An open class challenge determines the winner of the “National Maple Syrup Festival Champion” for the year. Prizes are awarded in all divisions. Raffles and door prizes for festival visitors are also held throughout the weekend.
Some quirky “believe it or not” type interactive displays add to the fun and carefree persona the festival embodies. Festival organizers claim to have “captured and harnessed a man eating chicken” and other oddities. A special section of the festival is devoted to the funny displays. Presenters of the oddities draw a lot of laughter and applause during their humorous onstage antics. Bluegrass bands demonstrate their skills on the banjo, harmonica, and other traditional instruments on stage during the National Maple Syrup Festival.
A bench constructed entirely of ice tempts the warm blooded to grab a seat. Anyone who can withstand the cold for three minutes is treated to free hot cider, hot chocolate, or coffee. Horse drawn wagon rides tour the maple grove, with drivers pointing out the working maple sugar taps. Visitors can also participate in the Paul Bunyan and Old Blue Lumberjack events. Visitors are welcomed to learn how to collect sugar tap from the farm, and learn how to use a buck saw. After attempting to saw through some sturdy Maplewood, a Paul Bunyan branded Maplewood round is given as a souvenir.
For additional information visit www.nationalmaplesyrupfestival.com