Monday, March 19, 2012

Maple Syrup Festival in Medora, Indiana

We had a great time at the 'National' Maple Syrup Festival that we attended on March 11. This is held at Burton's Maplewood Farm in Medora, Indiana. We went last year after I saw a little (tiny) write-up about it in Better Homes and Garden. It was in the things to do in March section and they wrote about going to maple syrup festivals in March (early spring is when the sap is running). The magazine said their choice was this 'National' Maple Syrup Festival in Medora, Indiana. I was shocked and proud that a national, well renowned magazine included a reference to Indiana. I told my husband about it and we ended up going. It turned out to be really, really fun, but I have to say I'm not quite sure how they got the 'national' part in front of the name of the festival, but who knows how that happens. I have a feeling that no-one from Better Homes and Gardens has ever been there, but honestly, who cares . . . it was great.

To get to the festival, you park at a school in this tiny town of Medora in Southern Indiana (not far from Seymour). You buy a bracelet (all money goes to charity) and you board a school bus which takes you five miles up a what they called 'the knobs' to the farm. It is a beautiful and fun drive. When we went last year, we arrived rather late on the last day of the festival, which runs for the first two weekends in March each year.  We took the last bus available back down and a man who was sitting in the seat in front of me struck up a conversation with me. He asked how I liked the festival and what do you think could be done to improve it, etc. It turned out he was the owner of the whole operation. We had a really fascinating conversation about the festival and the farm and I told him I had come there because I had seen the write-up in Better Homes and Garden, but no matter that, I was not disappointed and I would be back again next year.

So this year, we did go back. We went on the second weekend in March again and the weather was fantastic for it (if unseasonable and a bit concerning since we have entirely skipped winter this year). We still had on long sleeve shirts, but probably would have been fine with short sleeve shirts (now a week later and it is HOT . . . like mid-July, not like mid-March!). We were smarter this time and went late on Saturday, stayed over night in Seymour (hotel stays are always exciting for the kids) and went to the festival earlier on Sunday. It was so fun--nice, low-key and interesting. For entertainment for the kids, there are reenactments of pioneer settlements, demonstrations of sugar and syrup making and the chance to make hand-dipped candles and self-turned rope. There was also a re-enactment of a shootout that we all enjoyed watching. No bounce houses or arcade games or video games . . . just good old fashioned fun. AND there's the pancakes, drowned in fresh, pure maple syrup . .. just so good!

(I did all the photos in black and white because of the challenge for that week from Beyond Layers to focus on black and white, but it seemed to work for this and it was fun).

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