Maple syrup to simmer at Shaver's Creek

Festival celebrates a spring tradition

The distinctive aroma of bubbling maple syrup will return to the woodlands around Shaver's Creek Environmental Center as staff members prepare for the 26th annual Maple Harvest Festival on Saturday, March 26, and Sunday, March 27.

Visitors to the Maple Harvest Festival can learn how to tap trees, visit the Sugar Shack to see the sap being boiled down, and savor all-you-can-eat pancakes, drenched in real maple syrup.

"We set up picnic tables in our outdoor classroom," said Mark McLaughlin, director of the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. "Everyone has a hearty breakfast, and they can then enjoy our costumed interpreters demonstrate sugaring techniques, watch our birds-of-prey and reptile shows and listen to live music."

Children can follow the Sugar Trail to learn about the history of maple syrup, how to identify and tap maple trees and how colonial settlers collected the sap and turned it into syrup.

Native Americans showed European colonists how to make maple syrup and maple sugar by tapping trees for the "sweet water" or sap that flowed in the early spring. Often the syrup was poured over griddle cakes or pancakes as a special treat.

The festival runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Cost of the festival and the pancake breakfast is $5 for members of Shaver's Creek Environmental Center ($3 for children 6 to 11) and $10 for nonmembers ($6 for children 6 to 11). Complete information is available at http://www.ShaversCreek.org.

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Last Updated March 25, 2011