A Celebration of All Things Maple

By Carla Charter

ST. ALBANS, VT – Spring in New England to many, is when the maple sap starts running. Sap that will soon be turned into maple syrup, maple candy and other treats. Those wishing to indulge their maple sugar sweet tooth may want to head to the 53rd Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans on April 26, 27 and 28th. “We usually attract 35,000 to 50,000 over the weekend,” according to  Michelle Deslandes, Vermont Maple Festival Trustee.

Among the maple themed products will include of course official Vermont Maple Syrup and maple sugar candy. There will also be some more unique maple sugar delicacies to enjoy including cotton candy. bread, frosted donuts, salad dressing, maple cream spread, brittle, and milk shakes, all with maple sugar as a main ingredient.

A pancake breakfast, a fundraiser for Martha’s Community Kitchen, which serves the hungry of St. Albans will be held.  There will also be a maple BBQ with a menu of BBQ Grilled Chicken Breasts, potato salad, maple cole slaw, pasta salad with veggies, maple baked beans, homemade rolls, lemonade, iced tea, and vanilla ice cream with Vermont Maple Syrup.

Other events include a grand parade with Maple Festival ambassadors, a youth talent show, a fiddle variety show, a sap run foot race, a children’s variety show, clowns, face painting, a magician and sugar house tours. There will also be music throughout the event on the Main Street Stage.

Last year Vermont produced 1.94 million gallons of maple syrup, according to Amanda Voyer, Executive Director of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association.   “We are by far the largest producer of the nation’s maple syrup.” The nation’s total production of maple syrup is 4.2 million gallons. Maple Syrup production second largest economic agricultural contributor in the state, with dairy being the first.

More information on the Vermont Maple Festival can be found at www.vermontmaplefestival.com. More information on the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association can be found at www.vermontmaple.org