Maple Weekend always takes place during the first weekend of April, which this year will fall over April 6th and April 7th. It is organized and hosted by the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association, an organization that represents hundreds of maple syrup producers all across the province. The goal is to connect people with high-quality maple products locally produced right here at home.
Ontario has a long and proud maple heritage, and there’s no better way to learn more about the province’s “liquid gold” than by visiting a sugar bush during maple weekend. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see for yourself exactly how maple syrup and the maple products that derive from it are produced. Check in with a nearby sugar producer to see if they will be participating in the celebrations and plan an outing with your family. If you have multiple sugar bushes nearby, then that’s even better, as there is likely something unique happening at each one.
Participating maple producers will have their doors open all weekend, welcoming anyone who is interested to come in and get some first-hand experience making maple syrup and maple sugar. They’ll gladly teach you a little bit about the tradition behind maple sugaring and invite you to take part in a step along the sugar making process, which starts at the tree and ends at the table. You’ll gain inside knowledge on the whole operation and get to enjoy samples of delicious maple candies and confections while you’re at it.
Each producer will be offering their own list of maple-centred incentives for people to come and visit, but there are some common Maple Weekend activities that you can likely expect. Pancake breakfasts are always a big draw and you should definitely try to attend one on each day of the event. Horse-drawn sleigh rides, sugar bush trail guides, and making taffy on snow are just some of the other activities that usually take place. There is always something for everyone at this fantastic celebration of all things maple.
The first Maple Weekend was held in 2015. It was a success right off the bat and has only grown more successful with each passing year. In fact, in 2017, Maple Weekend was nominated for Ontario Tourism Event of the Year. Last year, an estimated 15,000 people paid a visit to a maple sugar bush during the event. The 2019 Maple Weekend is expected to be the biggest and best one yet, with more participating sugar bushes than ever. Almost 80 maple producers across Ontario will be taking part.
Many Ontario families view the first trip of the year to their local sugarbush as the true start of the spring season. Why not start the same tradition for yourself during Maple Weekend this year? With how popular the event is getting, it likely won’t be going away any time soon.