Maple Fest Reflection by Executive Director, Gina Gould
This year’s Maple Fest was quite the change from last year … Spring like temperatures drew six hundred people of all ages, from Long Island to Albany. Unlike last year, when the snow was up to our knee caps and the frigid weather was a deterrent to hiking out to the Sugar Shack, this year people in shorts and short sleeves strolled out to the Shack to meet Tim Neu, Ashokan’s long-time Sap Man and former Director, and learn how sap is collected, boiled, evaluated and bottled.
Last year, the big draw for kids was the Jack Wax, a candy made from hot syrup slurry that is poured on a mound of snow that quickly transforms into maple taffy, a sweet delight that is perfect for children wanting to usher in a visit from the Tooth Fairy.
This year, children lined up to sample Tim’s maple candy and Ciel’s maple brownies and cupcakes. Everyone lined up to eat Chef Bill’s all-day buckwheat pancakes and bacon drenched in Ashokan maple syrup and try their hands at broom making and blacksmithing. These afternoon delights were accompanied by the Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Band playing old and new time favorites, and Story Laurie & Ira McIntosh who captivated the audience with their stories (accompanied by music) from yesteryear.
It was a joy to see Ashokan filled with friends brought together by music and maple syrup! We look forward to hosting everyone once again at this annual event next March!!!
Gina C. Gould