Maple Syrup Festival - Lucas

2.) Maple Syrup Festival – Lucas – March 4, 2012

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: In 2016, I’ve returned to this festival.

If you wish to read a more current review, you can find it HERE.

Thanks!

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During the typical Ohio winter, late February and early March is the perfect time to start tapping maple trees for the sap needed to make true maple syrup.

This year, though, our winter has been incredibly mild and many maple syrup farmers have begun tapping as early as late January…

…something that’s beautiful to behold by the everyday pancake lover!

To celebrate this plentiful period of maple syrup production, Julia and I headed to Malabar Farm State Park, where they’ve tapped about 300 trees…

…and took part in their 2-weekend Maple Syrup Festival.

Once we arrived, we were faced with a challenge…

…a rather long line of people who waited for a free wagon ride to the heart of the festival.

But once we learned how far away the festival was (0.75 mile), we took advantage of our healthy lifestyle and impatience…
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…trekked down the tree-tapped trail…

…admiring horse-drawn trailers along the way…

…and made our way to the sugar shack (before all those people in line, I should add).

Inside the shack…

…the sugar-scented steam rose heavily…

…as sap boiled away and made its way through the channels…

…until it became an amber color suitable for our free samples.

But the sugar shack wasn’t the only location for maple syrup production.

Within the woods…

…two camps demonstrated maple syrup-making history.

The first involved re-enacting Native Americans…

…who tossed fire-heated stones into a log trough filled with sap.

And at the second camp…

…an early settler explained how maple sugar was made…

…which we all got to taste.

Speaking of free samples, if you explored enough…

…you could also follow the signs to the Richland County Museum

…where one of the houses was converted…

…into a pioneer cabin…

…with volunteer cooks…

…who offered free samples of cornbread.

(Just don’t get too freaked out by the child’s coffin toy on display!)

But that wasn’t the only food available.

One vendor sold simple fare like hot dogs and snacks (such as maple doughnuts)…

…and in the shop…


…there were plenty of maple products to bring home…

…even those you remembered as a kid.

But Julia and I didn’t get anything. I had originally thought about buying the maple popcorn, but, upon closer inspection, I realized there was corn syrup added.

I was happy enough with the free samples.

So we headed to the log cabin to get out of the cold one last time…

…and warmed ourselves up to some foot-tapping music before the trek back.

 

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