Maple Syrup Festival Kicks Off the Sweet Taste of Spring

Friday, February 23, 2018

Essex The John R. Park Homestead’s sweet slate of spring events kicks off on Sunday, March 4 with the region’s premier Maple Syrup Festival, from 11am to 4pm.

Festival-goers will enjoy a wide-range of maple-themed activities. Visitors will enjoy the bilingual Science of Maple exhibit, which gives insight into how maple trees produce sap and the process of turning it into syrup. Ashley Moffat will be in the parlour offering up some music for all ages at 1pm and 3pm, and with sales of her new CD, Habitat. Tapping toes to Moffat’s Maple Syrup Song is a perfect way to work up an appetite for maple treats.


For those insatiable sweet teeth, the Festival will also feature a Maple Confectionary featuring maple sugar candies, maple cotton candy, maple popcorn, and maple taffy cones.  Join the pioneers in an age-old tradition as they twist maple taffy on the snow every half hour. Not to worry, these resourceful pioneers have fresh snow in store just for taffy twisting! Local maple producer Daniel Choquette will be on-site peddling pure maple syrup for those who want to bring the sweet taste of maple home. As always, the Homestead’s gift shop will be selling a range of pure, local maple products, including maple sugar and maple butter.


“The taste of maple is just the start at this event,” says Kris Ives, the Homestead’s Curator. “Our demonstrators will give our visitors unique insight into nineteenth century living, told through the long history of maple in our region.” The event will also feature several demonstrations straight from the 19thcentury including woodcarving, blacksmithing, fireplace cooking and more.

The Maple Syrup Festival is a pay-at-the-door event. Admission is $4 per child, $6 per adult, and a $20 family maximum (2 adults, 3 children).


The sweet times continue at the Homestead throughout the month of March. On Tuesday, March 13 and Friday, March 16 at 1:30pm, the Maple March Break events will cater to families looking to get outdoors during the weeklong break. Costumed guides will take groups around the Homestead site and get hands-on with the pioneer maple syrup making process. Both events are pay-at-the door, $4/child, $6/adult and a $20 family maximum.


The foodies of the Essex region can also enjoy the sweet taste of maple at two special events in March. On Tuesday March 13, starting at 7pm, local gourmands can take part in an old-fashion sugaring off party at Maple Moon. Visitors will warm up with a pioneer-era barn dance then help collect sap and boil it down by moonlight. By evening’s end, they will work up a hunger only satisfied by the sweet taste of maple sugar and handmade maple taffy. Admission for Maple Moon is $15/person by pre-registration only. Register online at   For those foodies with a bigger appetite for maple, Oxley Estate Winery will be hosting their annual Maple Dinner on Saturday, March 24th. The five-course meal promises a hint of maple in every bite. Cost is $65/person and reservations can be made by calling the winery at 519-738-3264. Seats are limited.


For more information, contact the Homestead: 519-738-2029, or or visit The Homestead was named Ontario’s Best Living History Museum. For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.

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