10 Must-Attend Maple Festivals to Sweeten Your Spring
Happy Travelers, what better way to bid goodbye to those winter doldrums and hello to spring’s promise than with the sweet taste of just-tapped maple syrup? Come celebrate this at one of the many maple festivals taking place throughout Pennsylvania!
1. Maple Sugaring Weekends at Parker Dam State Park
Maple syrup is celebrated all month long during Maple Sugaring Weekends at Parker Dam State Park. Here, you'll learn the history behind maple sugaring, how to identify maple trees in winter, choosing the perfect tree for tapping, and how to make your own luscious maple syrup. While a few lucky guests get to tap a tree and receive other hands-on training, all guests receive free samples of the sweet concoction.
When: Mar. 2019
2. Somerset County Maple Weekend
Somerset County celebrates all things maple in a big way during Somerset County Maple Weekend. You'll receive an education in the art and lore of maple sugaring — including traditional and modern techniques — at the 16 participating sites. Tour sugar camps dating back to the 1800s, which feature quaint 'sugar shacks' where maple sap was boiled and made into maple syrup. There are tons of unique maple syrup and sugar concoctions for you to try, from syrups, spotza, maple-infused barbeque sauce, coffee, vinaigrette dressing, and even craft maple beer!
When: Mar. 9-10
Where: Somerset County
3. 15th Annual Maple Weekend
The Potter/Tioga Maple Producers Association has 17 maple farms and related sites for you to visit during the 15th Annual Maple Weekend. From classic hanging bucket methods to modern tubing and vacuum pump techniques, you'll get a true behind-the-scenes experience of the maple syrup making process. Be sure to pick up some of their maple-themed products, including classic syrups and candies, maple salad dressing, jellies, and popcorn, and not-to-miss maple milkshakes, bourbon, and lemonade!
When: Mar. 16-17
Where: Potter and Tioga counties
4. Loch's Maple Open House
What started as a modest open house twenty years ago has grown to a major event attracting more than a thousand people annually. This year, the Loch family will open its doors to the public for the 20th annual Loch's Maple Open House. Watch as 40 gallons of sap is boiled down into one gallon of deliciously sticky syrup, while enjoying demonstrations by traditional blacksmiths, candle makers, spinners, and quilters, along with sampling plenty of sweet maple treats.
When: Mar. 16-17
5. 16th Annual Maple Taste & Tour Weekend
The Northwest Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Association welcomes you to the 16th Annual Maple Taste & Tour Weekend featuring 19 participating maple farms and sugar houses throughout the four counties. Each site has its own unique approach to maple sugaring and is guaranteed to be fun and informative (with lots of maple candy and snacks, of course). You'll find maple products that go beyond the classic sugar candy and syrup, including maple mustard, beer, butter, peanut butter, maple sap dogs, and bourbon maple syrup!
When: Mar. 16-17
Where: Crawford, Erie, Warren, and Venango counties
6. 2019 Maple Weekend Open House and Customer Appreciation Day
Join the Miller family for pancakes and some free samples at Miller's Purely Maple, 2019 Maple Weekend Open House and Customer Appreciation Day. Using discarded wood from a nearby baseball bat maker to fire the evaporator, this tiny operation produces more than 1,000 gallons of syrup each year. Tours of the sugar house are available all weekend, along with a variety of maple goodies produced from the 2019 harvest.
When: Mar. 16-17
7. Maple Harvest Festival and Pancake Breakfast
Step back in time as costumed interpreters demonstrate old-world maple farming techniques from Native American and Colonial times to today's modern harvesting techniques at the Maple Harvest Festival and Pancake Breakfast at Shaver's Creek Environment Center. Explore the Sugar Shack to learn how maple sap is transformed into syrup and dance to live music at this two-day festival of all-natural sweetness. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
When: Mar. 23-24
8. Pennsylvania Maple Festival
Join thousands of maple lovers for the 72nd annual Pennsylvania Maple Festival in Meyersdale. The festival includes a grand parade with marching bands, floats, and the newly crowned Maple Queen; special activities for the kids; antique cars and street rod shows; an old-fashioned horse-pulling contest; artists and crafters galore; a quilt show; antique tractor and farm show; and a dinner theater featuring the Maple City Players. Ramp up your sugaring skills by learning how to tap a tree, boil sap into syrup, make sugar cakes, and twirl spotza.
When: Mar. 30-31, Apr. 3-7
Cost: $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-12, free for children 5 and under
9. Maple Syrup Festival
Celebrate Bradys Run Park's maple harvest at Beaver County's Maple Syrup Festival. Enjoy an-all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast served with maple syrup made from the park's own maple trees, along with children's activities, live entertainment, crafters, and Civil War reenactment and encampment. Try the maple cotton candy and some of the other maple products available. If you want some Bradys Run Park maple syrup to take home, pick up a few bottles and know that your money is going to a good cause: sales benefit the countywide Conservation District educational programs!
When: Apr. 6-7
Where: Beaver Falls
10. Endless Mountains Maple Festival
Saddle up for a wild celebration of this year's maple harvest at the Endless Mountains Maple Festival. Attendees will enjoy a rodeo, a monster truck show featuring Extreme XDP and Killer Bee, amusement rides, games, and live entertainment including an all-female timber sports athletic group. Cooks can compete for cash prizes at the Brews N' Wings Cook-Off while others participate in the pancake eating contest. Non-competitive pancake lovers can enjoy all-day pancake breakfast. Stop by the maple judging contest to see which syrup is judged best of show for 2019!
When: Apr. 27-28
Cost: $5 for adults, Children 5 years and under: Free
To learn about more maple experiences in PA, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don't forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.