Saturday, April 5, 2008

Maple Festival

It's about this time of year when I always get really antsy. Spring fever as it were. The proverbial sap starts flowing. I bet you can guess where this is going if you read the title. I have always wanted to take part in maple sugaring. Well, we missed the real deal this year (it was mid March when we were travelling), but I thought we would check out the Beaver County Maple Festival instead. It was today and also runs tomorrow, April 6 at Brady's Run Park.

As someone said who had been to 26 of the festivals, all of Beaver County was there today. And since we are from Allegheny County, it was all of Beaver County plus. We had hoped to get some pancakes with syrup and see the making of syrup from sap. Neither of these things happened. The line (to get pancakes) was the longest I've seen since visiting Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey in 1989. We didn't even attempt it. And they were not making syrup, though you could peek into the sugar shack and someone was talking about the process there (which doesn't do a thing for the under 7 set I was accompanying).

We did buy some syrup, which they make by tapping the maples in Brady's Run Park. We visited some craft booths. We enjoyed talking with and looking at the Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enacters. The kids got their faces painted (it wouldn't be a festival without that), but the part that I liked the best was watching them grind local grain!
They used this here coal fired engine to turn the mill which they used to grind locally grown buckwheat, wheat and corn. I bought five 2 pound bags of the wheat flour and am keeping them in the freezer. Those were $2.00 each. Corn is also $2.00 and buckwheat is $2.50.

If you can't make it to the festival, contact them at

Beaver County Conservation District 156 Cowpath Road
Aliquippa, PA 15001
Phone: 724-378-1701

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