The Travel Advice Pages article on the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival in Ontario, Canada, generated so much interest that we have decided to feature the event again in 2009.
As winter retreats and Spring arrives, temperatures rise and the good folk in Ontario head for their sugar bush to make maple syrup. Boiling of the sap is one of the oldest traditions and is part of Canada’s heritage, producing maple syrup which is famous worldwide.
In Elmira, the Festival and celebrations began in April 1965. After an initial attendance of 10,000 visitors in that year, it now attracts up to 100,000 from around the world and figures in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest amount of maple syrup consumed in one day. The festival promotes community spirit and the fantastic day of fun is supported by 2000+ volunteers.
Start your day with the famous Festival Pancakes made from a secret recipe, served in Wyatt Street. Help consume the 15000 pancakes and 725 litres of maple syrup served each year. After, or before this treat, compete in the Pancake Flipping Contest which was introduced in 1985. Try flipping your pancakes in a fun-filled relay race.
The Elmira Festival brings the farm into town for the kids in Old Mcdonalds Farm, just off Main Street, children can meet their furred, feathered and four-footed friends. With a hay maze and pony rides it is a child’s delight.
Collectors and Antique Dealers from across Ontario head for Elmira at Festival time. On the Friday evening, you can bring your own treasure from the attic for appraisal by experts. Test your knowledge with the “What-is-it” contest figuring out the use of old tools and implements.
Elmira is in the heart of quilt making territory. At the show, local quilters demonstrate this timeless art and a team will attempt to produce an entire quilt during the day of the Festival
Given the theme of the day a Sugarbush Tour is a must. Hop on a bus and see a working sugarbush operation. At the working farm site you will transfer to a haywagon for a close-up view and see how maple syrup is produced, from sap collection to evaporation and final processing. After the tour stay and sample the maple goodies.
After a strenuous day and if the Inner Man requires attention, visit Main Street. The street is closed to traffic and is lined with booths selling food, food products and arts and craft items. Maple candy, taffy, fudge, butter and pancakes will tempt you together with bacon sandwiches, sausages, turkey, souvlaki, piping hot apple fritters and jellies and jams.
Your final stop may well be the Toy Show and Sale. Adults and children will be fascinated by the collection of toys, old and new. As a souvenir of a memorable day you can take home one of the “Collectible Toy Banks” which is a limited edition on sale each year.
With its attractions and fun-filled activities for all ages, The Elmira Maple Syrup Festival ranks high in the list of popular Festivals in any year, so join in the fun on the 4th April 2009.