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Celebrate All Things Maple for Two Weekends

NYS Maple Weekends March 22-23, 29-30

By Jann Wiswall

New York State is the second largest maple syrup producer in the United States, behind Vermont. It also has a reputation of producing some of the best quality syrup in the world. As such, it makes sense that the state’s Maple Producers Association sponsors Annual Maple Weekends each year during peak production months to promote the industry and its mouth-watering products.

This year, the 19th annual Maple Weekends are being held March 22-23 and March 29-30, with some 110 maple producers across the state. Right here in Cattaraugus County, four “sugarhouses,” as they are called, are holding open houses complete with special events, tours, demonstrations and some mighty mouth-watering treats.

There, you will be able to learn about how maple trees are tapped, how the sap is boiled into maple syrup and how the syrup is further refined into other maple products. Of course, visitors can sample and purchase maple products, and many will be offering up plates of warm pancakes and other treats such as syrup on snow (jack wax), which is hot, thickened syrup that forms a sweet taffy when poured on fresh snow.

Please keep in mind that the maple syrup production process is weather-dependent. A typical season is late February to late March or early April. This year, said Toni Sprague of Sprague’s Maple Farms, the season has been delayed by the extreme cold.

“We really get going when we have freezing nights and thawing days,” she said, and once temperatures settle into the 40’s, the season is over.

The following Cattaraugus County sugarhouses are participating in this year’s Maple Weekends.

Boberg’s Maple

2298 Edmunds Road

Delevan, NY 14042

(716) 492-3789

Maple Weekend Activities:

Come visit our sugarhouse and see maple sugaring in action. You can taste samples of the maple products we make. We will have various maple products for sale. Open March 29-30 only.

Moore’s Maple Shack &

Pancake House

10444 Galen Hill Road

Freedom, NY 14065

(716) 492-2714 / 492-3067

www.mooresmaple.com

Maple Weekend Activities:

The Moore family opens its Pancake House and sugar shack every March through the end of April. Our 5,600-tap maple operation is “n” tubing and manmade vacuum. We use a reverse osmosis unit, a steam-away, and a new high efficiency oil-fired arch. Next to the sugar shack is our pancake house, where we serve all-you-can eat buttermilk pancakes. We have decorated it with family antiques, ranging from an oxen yoke to a 1910 wedding dress. On Maple Weekend, we will have wagon rides to the sugar bush. We will offer samples of our maple products.

Sprague’s Maple Farms

1048 Portville-Obi Road

Portville, NY 14770

(716) 933-6637

www.spraguesmaplefarms.com

Maple Weekend Activities:

This year-round, full-service restaurant features breakfast all day and many other menu selections, including their own 100 percent pure maple syrup. Maple production tours and demonstrations are available in both our authentic, old-fashioned sugar house and our state-of-the-art production facility. During Maple Weekend, we will be offering wagon rides (weather permitting) to the sugarhouse for tastings, maple cake donuts, maple cotton candy, and sugar on snow. The gift shop features all our maple products, a large variety of country gift items, and Sprague’s Maple Farm gift cards for use in the restaurant and gift shop.

Wright Farms, Inc.

9136 Laidlaw Road

Farmersville, NY 14737

(716) 474-7474 / 676-9963

www.wrightfarmsmaplesyrup.com

Maple Weekend Activities:

Family-owned Wright Farms has been in business since 1840, with five generations of Wrights producing maple syrup and maple products on the farm. Currently, there are over 7,000 taps. A modern sugarhouse containing a 6×16’ wood-fired evaporator with an energy saving steamaway system is used to produce 1,100 to 1,300 gallons of pure maple syrup each year. We will serve jack wax (sugar on snow) throughout the day.

In addition, the Gowanda Fire Hall (230 Aldrich Street) will be serving up pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and 100 percent pure New York maple syrup on March 22-23 and 29-30, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets costs $7.50 for adults and $5 for children.

Maple weekends take place regardless of the weather, so please dress accordingly for your visit. Maple Weekend activities take place at each location from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., though some locations are open during additional hours. Admission is free; pancake breakfasts are additional.

For more information, visit www.mapleweekend.com.

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