Maple Syrup Fest Saturday in Vergas, Minn.
The 11th annual Vergas Maple Syrup Fest will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Vergas Community Center. Festivalgoers can feast on some fresh, fluffy hot pancakes topped with pure maple syrup - courtesy of local syrup producers - alon...
The 11th annual Vergas Maple Syrup Fest will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Vergas Community Center.
Festivalgoers can feast on some fresh, fluffy hot pancakes topped with pure maple syrup - courtesy of local syrup producers - along with sausage, juice and coffee. Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under.
The DL Cloggers will provide entertainment while patrons savor their meals. There will also be many maple syrup-themed activities throughout the day.
Sugarhouse tours will be available for those curious about how maple syrup is made. You can grab a map at the Vergas Community Center to visit one of the sugar shacks where demonstrations of maple syrup production will be given, weather permitting.
The sap won't be the only thing running during Saturday's festival, however. The 5K Maple Syrup Run/Walk starts and ends at Billy's Corner Bar in Vergas. Registration will be at 8 a.m. with the race starting at 9 a.m. The registration fee of $20, which includes Maple Syrup Fest headgear and breakfast.
Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers of each age group. Race forms are available at www.vergasmn.com , or you can register the day of the race at Billy's.
While in town, you may also want to stop in and shop at Vergas's downtown businesses, where you can sample treats made with pure maple syrup - and don't forget to visit the many maple-themed booths at the community center.
Raffle tickets will be sold for $2 each, for an original metal art piece created by artist Patrick Shannon of Forest Edge Gallery in Vergas. The drawing will be Aug. 14, following the Looney Daze Parade on Main Street. The winner need not be present to win.
The festival is sponsored by the Vergas Community Club. Visit www.vergasmn.com for more information.
Maplewood to host free syruping demos
If the Vergas festivities aren't enough, you can head on down to Maplewood State Park on Saturday for a maple-syruping workshop, starting at 9 a.m.
Families and participants of all ages are invited to take part in this springtime tradition, which will continue until 4:30 p.m.
You can learn how maple trees are tapped and the sap collected, then boiled to reduce water content and produce pure maple syrup. It usually takes 30 to 40 gallons of sap to get one gallon of pure maple syrup.
Maple sap runs best when daytime temperatures are in the high 30s to mid-40s and overnight temperatures are below freezing. This cycle of above-freezing days and below-freezing nights needs to continue for several days.
Some sap may flow as early as January or as late as May, but the typical time for a "good" sap run in Minnesota is from about March 15 to April 20.
The maple syrup programs at Maplewood are free, but a vehicle permit ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit) is required to enter the park.
The entrance to Maplewood State Park is seven miles east of Pelican Rapids, on State Highway 108 in Otter Tail County. For more information, call (218) 863-8383.