Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Maple Syrup Festival

Maple Syrup

Deep in the woods you'll find a tree
Beside an old man drinking tea
All the branches will touch the ground
And singing birds will fly around
And in this tree you'll find a friend
Covered in animals from front to end
With a plate of pancakes by the tree
While sap drips off on all three

One week ago, this was the scene of an annual Maple Syrup Festival.

This festival event is the largest in the province of Ontario, the most popular and the very one seemingly bringing this town enough business to last a full year with the reaped financial boom gained from hosting such an big event.

Parking is a premium.

In other words, one is lucky to find any. At all.

We had the advantage of now knowing this area, back roads and all, so we had no problem catching the perfect parking spot early in the morning.

My husband had not been to the festival before, nor our sons, both also along for the event. Our girls were, surprise - at the barn with their horse loving girlfriends.

The morning weather patterns were not conducive to enjoying an outdoor activity, most people feigning off the cold though to make all worth their while.

As we strolled along the center of the roadways I couldn't help but think of how it was last year, shoulder to shoulder busy, and so incredibly HOT. Quite the opposite this year, it was COLD, very COLD. When it wasn't raining, it was snowing, windy and COLD. Imagine that!

We ducked in to the library at one point, where a book sale in progress. Ah ha!

With one eyebrow raised, my excitement tattled on me, my husband snickering with that all knowing look, the one where he knew what I was thinking.

Later on, we ducked into a coffee shop where standing room only was the order of the day for many. Luckily, we were able to fetch a table in a short period of time to sit and literally begin to warm up.

Finally, the sun winked upon the crowds for a few select minutes, just long enough to stand and enjoy the local talent on stage in the main area reserved for entertainment over the course of the day's agenda.

A young neighbor of ours, friend of our son, was ready and lined up with his marching band, all eager and ready to perform for the crowd gathered before the grand outdoor stage.

Naturally we had to remain and cheer him on, his parents near to us, and all only hoping their time on stage wouldn't be ruined with rain dropping upon them and their instruments.

So many vendors were out in force, all local sugar shack syrup producers showing off their wares and offering samples for all to taste.

From the selection of; light, medium and dark varieties, my husband decided to choose this year's favorite brand.

The light was a preference, though we ended up with a medium.

As our son and myself hadn't been feeling well in advance of this outing, when the weather became unstable again, we opted not to take the bus tour for the sugar shack tour and head home.

Bearing in mind the unexpected weather difficulties for both spectator and vendor, a good time was still had by all.

Bags of syrup, fresh multigrain bread, homemade sausage were a few of our purchases this year.

And then, the afternoon was spent napping, at least for me because the small excursion took all my energy away, still not feeling like doing much.

Happy but pooped, at least we had more fresh maple syrup again.