Mother Nature is crowned queen, maple syrup is the royal family, and the public are the honored guests as LaGrange County Parks will celebrate Maple Syrup Days on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18, at Maple Wood Nature Center. The center is located at 4550E 100S.
The day will begin, appropriately, with a pancake breakfast served by South Milford Lions from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sugar house tours will take place from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., and the popular horse-drawn wagon tours run through the sugar bush from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., with interpreters explaining the life cycle of the maple trees and the tapping operation.
Visitors also will see three different ways to make maple syrup, including instructions on how to make maple syrup at home. A marionette show returns with a performance of “The Young Sugar Makers of the West Woods,” an adaptation from the book with the same name. The local chapter of Tri Kappa will also be making maple cotton candy for guests to enjoy.
“It’s a great time of year to be in the woods,” LaGrange County Interpretive Naturalist Scott Beam said, with the first signs of spring are emerging. “I have seen the first mushrooms, the first migratory birds, the first flowers, the first critters out of hibernation. I’ve tapped trees for sap, and this weekend, I get to share it all with everybody else.”
Last year, the event had a record-breaking attendance of nearly 4,000 guests. Beam said approximately 7,850 gallons of sap are gathered from 535 “taps” to make 157 gallons of pure maple syrup.