Maple mania descends upon Brown County this weekend during the National Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday and Sunday.
The festival will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
As Indiana’s most densely forested county, Brown County is rich in natural resources and home to a wide variety of maple trees, which reflects the pioneering essence and history of maple sugar production.
The festival will bring together maple sugar producers and hobbyists, maple syrup connoisseurs and visitors of all ages for a weekend full of activities and events. From live sugaring demonstrations and guided hikes to warm maple syrup flights, kids activities, a pancake breakfast and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the festival.
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Here are a few highlights to consider. The state park’s lower shelter will serve as the hub for all activities.
There will be live reenactments of Native American and French Colonial maple sugaring techniques, as well as modern day sugaring demonstrations. Festival-goers also will have the opportunity to attend Sap School, where they will learn from sugaring experts all there is to know about the maple biz and sugaring in general.
Kids will be able to test their sugar making skills during Sugaring for Small Folks, a fun and interactive experience showcasing the sap-to-syrup process. After the kiddos have mastered maple sugaring, they can take on the Sticky-Fingered Maple Syrup Challenge Course.
Festivities also will include guided interpretive hikes along state park trails. Groups will depart from the lower shelter for a leisurely stroll, where they will identify maple trees and learn their role in sugar and syrup production.
The Maple Market will offer maple-related merchandise, a beer and wine garden, live acoustic music and food — all under a heated tent. There will even be a culinary competition featuring maple recipes at the Abe Martin Lodge on Saturday.
Weekend admission is $10; children 6 and younger are free. Festival-goers can park in town and board the Maple Motor Coach for a park tour ending at the festival gates. Minimal parking also will be available within the park. Tickets can be purchased online at brown county.com/national-maple-syrup-festival, at the festival gate or in the visitors center.
Maple festivities continue during Indiana’s inaugural Maple Weekend, March 12 and 13. The weekend will provide guests with an exclusive look inside various sugar camps around the state.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, attendees will be able to see how trees are tapped, how sap gets to the sugar house, and how it becomes maple syrup and other maple products. Details about Indiana Maple Weekend can be found at facebook.com/IndianaMapleWeekend.