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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Slow Start to Maple Syrup Festival

Orangeville | by Phil De Land  

Conservation officials hope March Break will help ramp up visitors to festival.

The Orangeville Maple Syrup Festival kicked off this past weekend at the Island Lake Conservation Area.

In the past, the festival has run for two days at the end of the month.

Yasmine Slater, Superintendent of the Conservation Area, says that this is the first year the festival will run for a week.

She says having it run for the week of March Break has, so far, worked out well.

Yasmine goes on to say the number of people that came out over the weekend was down from past years but that it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Having fewer people at one time has allowed for shorter wait times to get into the park.

The smaller groups also allow for more interactive demonstrations.

These demonstrations include how to properly tap a tree, what it takes to boil the sap down to syrup and how to make taffy.

Along the walk through the trees people will see how maple syrup used to be made, by boiling it down over an open fire in large cast iron pots suspended between two trees.

From there they'll be shown the Sugar Shack where they currently make the syrup.

When asked if the weather has been a deterrent, Yasmine simply explained that it's to be expected with the time of year as "we have some nice days and we have some not so nice days."

She pointed out the warm weather that was experience over the weekend helped encourage people to get out and enjoy the activities the festival has to offer including wagon rides.

In addition to the even running for an entire week, this is also the first year the Credit Valley Conservation will be running the festival entirely.

Town of Orangeville Councilor Don Kidd was on hand Monday taking in the tour.

He says by having the CVC run the festival, it allows all the money made to go back into the conservation area for future festivals and allows them to continue to preserve nature."



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