Brown County, Indiana, is proud to host the 5th National Maple Syrup Festival, March 5 – 8, 2015.
Geographically, Indiana holds the southernmost and westernmost position in the United States' Maple Sugar Belt, meaning as winter gives way to spring, the sap flows first in Indiana's maple stands.
Brown County, Indiana's most densely forested county, is an ideal location for the festival: It's rich in natural resources and home to a wide variety of maple trees.
Brown County also provides a perfect backdrop for the festival, reflecting the pioneering essence and history of maple sugar production in its handcrafted heritage as one of America's original artists' colonies. The 2015 National Maple Syrup Festival will bring together maple sugar producers and hobbyists, maple syrup connoisseurs, and visitors on a local, statewide, and potentially national level to highlight and promote Indiana's role in the national production of maple sugar/syrup.
Festival guests will learn the basics of maple syrup and the sugaring process, will be able to see how syrup is produced and used today, and will learn the sweet history behind maple sugar production. The festival will also enable maple sugar producers to promote their products, share their stories, and help build a statewide brand for maple sugar and maple syrup production.
"Aside from the maple syrup, Brown County is a great place to visit—entertainment, shopping, outdoor adventure, natural beauty," said Jane Ellis, executive director at the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The National Maple Syrup Festival just enhances that, and is another reason to come. Plus, Brown County's infrastructure provides a great opportunity for the festival to continue to grow."
Activities will take place in various locations throughout Brown County, including the State Park, the Story Inn, and the Village of Nashville. Festival guests can expect a true sap-to-syrup experience at the Brown County State Park. Events slated for the State Park include tree tapping, an interpretive hike to identify maple trees, live re-enactments of Native American and French Colonial maple sugaring techniques, and on-site cooking by The Dutch Oven Diva, who will prepare sweet and savory maple foods for sampling.
Meanwhile, the Story Inn will be home to the Sweet Victory Challenge, a culmination of national recipe contests for youth and adults, involving nationally acclaimed chefs, food writers, and bloggers. The festivities continue in the Village of Nashville, including live sugaring demonstrations in Pioneer Village, maple beer flight tastings, and horse-powered maple ice cream making. Maple-related foods and wares will be also be available in local restaurants, in shops, and lining the streets of Nashville.
Additionally, renowned maple syrup experts will entertain and educate maple enthusiasts during a dinner series held at the newly opened History Center. Dr. Michael Farrell, director of Cornell University's Sugar Maple Research and Education Center and author of The Sugarmaker's Companion, headlines the dinner on Friday night, which will feature dishes incorporating Indiana-produced maple syrup.
Festival guests can also enjoy a pancake breakfast at the Brown County High School, featuring Chris Cakes, a catering company serving up not only incredible pancakes, but also a show like none other. Plenty of children's activities will be available, including maple crafts, puppet shows, and a Maple Camp for kids. Live music and live art demonstrations throughout the county by the Indiana Plein Air Association are also on the docket for the 2015 National Maple Syrup Festival.
With so much to do and see, the National Maple Syrup Festival is definitely worth checking out. Learn more about the Festival at nationalmaplesyrupfestival.com.