Maple Harvest Festival returns to Shaver’s Creek March 21-22

March 16, 2015

The harsh winter throughout central Pennsylvania won’t stop a more than 30 year annual tradition at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

Eric Burkhart, plant science program director at Shaver’s Creek, says although the winter’s bitter cold has delayed the tapping of sugar maples at the facility, visitors at this year’s Maple Harvest Festival still can learn the syrup-making process and enjoy an all-you-can-eat pancake and maple syrup breakfast.

“Ideal temperatures for tapping are when there are days above freezing and nights below freezing,” said Burkhart. “With the recent warmer temperatures, sap flow has started and there will be plenty to experience during the festival.”

The 32nd annual Maple Harvest Festival and Pancake Breakfast will be held at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 21-22. The Maple Harvest Festival, which began in 1984, welcomes approximately 2,000 visitors each year.

Penn State students taking Recreation, Park and Tourism Management 297G — interpreting maple sugaring to families — will teach visitors how to identify and tap sugar maple trees and demonstrate sugaring techniques used by Native Americans, pioneers and modern-day farmers. The festival also will feature live music and storytelling, as well as live birds of prey and reptile shows.

Burkhart says a healthy sugar maple tree can be tapped each season, which typically lasts two to four weeks, for more than 100 years.

Admission to the festival and pancake breakfast is $5 (ages 12 and older) and $3 (ages 6-11) for members and $10 and $6, respectively, for nonmembers. Admission for children ages 5 and younger are free. For more information, visit

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    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated June 26, 2015