After a long and snowy winter, March is finally here and there is so much to get excited about. Warmer days are on the way, along with all the possibilities that come with springs arrival. No one is more excited about the spring’s arrival than the hardworking families who produce one of Canadas oldest and sweetest delicacies, Maple Syrup.
Maple trees (acer saccharum) need warm days and cold nights to produce a steady flow of maple sap which is then boiled down into the sweet syrup that can be enjoyed over pancakes.
The Indigenous Peoples of the First Nations harvested the savoury sap from the maple trees of Canada. The tales of this savoury sap, with its sweet and woody flavour, travelled the world and so came the name ‘maple syrup. The Ojibwe people have produced maple sugar throughout the Great Lakes, coming together from great distances each spring to open sugar camps, which were an integral part of the social life of the Ojibwe communities.
Here in Brock, we celebrate springs arrival with the Annual Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival, which has officially kicked off its celebration with the much-anticipated Tapping Ceremony which was held at Pinedale Maples Farm on March 12, 2023.
The festival opens to families on April 1 & 2 right in the heart of Sunderland with an outdoor vendors market on River Street and Church Street. Here you can find baked goods, local artisans, hand made clothing and of course MAPLE SYRUP. Families can take a tour of Harlaine Maple Products to visit their sugar shack and learn how maple syrup production methods have changed over time. At the Sunderland Memorial Arena, families can visit the petting zoo, ride ponies, see the draft horse display and learn of First Nation Cultural Tours available throughout 2023.
Step back in time with forging demonstrations presented by Fallen Willow Forge while also witnessing the important work of Durham Region’s Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue through games and hands on experiences with the baby animals.
The annual pancake breakfast is being served Saturday and Sunday at the Legion until late morning and make sure you are at the centre of town at High Noon for The Junior Farmers’ Bathtub Races, where teams race to win and dress to impress.
The 4-H Ontario’s Lawn Tractor Pull happens on Sunday and if you have never seen one of these modified tractors you are in for a fun surprise.
Kids will not be disappointment with live entertainment by Lexy the Rap Dad, while all will enjoy various other performances throughout the festival.
Bring your friends and family, dress for the weather and enjoy this small-town festival which is sure to become your annual tradition.
When: April 1 & 2, 2023
Where: 1 River St, Sunderland
Price: Free to attend with costs for extra activities.
For more information, visit links below