Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival

The following announcement gives you an idea of the distinctly local flavor of this popular northern Indiana festival (dates this year are April 15 and 16, 2011, in Wakarusa, Indiana):

The Elkhart County Community Foundation has awarded the Wakarusa Historical Society in conjunction with the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival Sugar Camp and Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce grant monies to purchase "Boiling Pans" and "Evaporator"

For over 40 years area school children grades 2 – 4 are formally invited and everyone is welcome to take the educational tour of a working Maple Sugar Camp!

Existing pans and evaporator are privately owned by the Amish men who have run the camp for 10 years; Eli Kuhns and Wilbur Miller, both syrup manufacturers by trade. Previously Wilbur would bring his own pans to town to be used during Education Days (the third week in March) and during the Maple Syrup Festival (third weekend in April) to provide the FREE working Sugar Camp Tours. With March, being prime tapping time, Wilbur would have to take the sap he gathered at his home to Eli’s house to boil, as his pans were being used for Education Days.

The Wakarusa Historical Society and Maple Syrup Festival Committee and the Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce are indebted with gratitude to these two men for all they have done to keep this important tradition alive but would like to properly own the pans and the evaporator. This would free these men from sacrificing their own equipment as well as provide the added security that the camp can exist when and if these men decide to retire and another take their place.

There are all sorts of maple-themed events (go online to see them all), including lots of chances to taste all things maple.

The annual event is sponsored by the Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Maple Syrup Festival

The 20th annual Maple Syrup Festival at Leane and Michael's Sugarbush in southern Indiana will be held two weekends: February 26 and 27 plus March 5 and 6, 2011. Hours all four days are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tours will start every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but you can take a self-guided tour of the sugarhouse with an operating evaporator. Syrup-making demonstrations showing Native American (as pictured) and pioneer methods will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

There'll be maple syrup, maple candy, maple cream and maple cotton candy for sale, along with home-baked maple goods. If you want something more to eat, there'll be pancakes and waffles plus chicken, pork chop or pulled pork dinners (and, yes, there's carry-out available).

Sugarbush is located at 321 North Garrison Hollow Road, Salem, Indiana (that's north of SR160, 7.6 miles west of I-65 at Henryville, and 10.5 miles east of Salem). For more information, call 812:967-4491 or 877:841-8851.

For more tourist information about the area, go online.