The 39th annual Maine Maple Sunday — in recent years stretched to a full weekend — is coming up March 26-27.

Traditionally held the fourth Sunday (weekend) in March, events planned at sugarhouses around the state promise a sweet array of syrup samples and confections that may include maple syrup over ice cream, maple popped corn and cotton candy, maple fudge, maple baked beans, maple cream, maple sugar candy and varieties of syrup that now extend to some flavored with hot chili peppers or aged in liquor casks.

Syrup producers also offer sugarhouse tours and demonstrations of how maple syrup is made, as well as sugarbush tours by horse-drawn wagons or, when snow is available, sleigh. It’s an annual family fun day or weekend.

Gov. Janet Mills and Maine Maple Producers Association President Scott Dunn plan to kick off the state’s annual celebration of pure Maine maple syrup and the Maine people who produce it by tapping the Blaine House maple tree Friday, March 11.

“One of the benefits of maple syrup in Maine is that we have a diverse climate — colder in the north and warming up in the south — along with mineral enriched soils,” Dunn said in an event announcement from the Governor’s Office. “This leads to unique syrup flavors, depending on the sugarbush you visit.”

Annually, maple syrup contributes an estimated $49 million in production value, over 800 full- and part-time jobs, and more than $25 million in labor income to Maine’s economy, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Maine is the third-largest producer of maple syrup nationwide, after Vermont and New York. About 40 gallons of sap yields one gallon of maple syrup.

Before you go

It’s best to call before you go — get the sugarhouse’s hours and its schedule of events and offerings. Dress for the weather and the season; it can be rainy, snowy, muddy or all of the above — it’s Maine in March.

Find participating sugarhouses listed at mainemapleproducers.com and realmaine.com. Following are some that will be open in the greater Waldo County area, but if your local syrup-maker’s sugarhouse is not on this list, check to find out — it just might be:

Simmons and Daughters Sugarhouse, 261 Weymouth Road, Morrill, 342-2444, simmonsmaple.com.

Back Ridge Sugar House, 107 Boston Road, Winterport, 944-2575.

Beaver Hill Plantation, 38 Sibley Road, Freedom, 382-6129, beaverhillplantation.com.

Kinney’s Sugarhouse, 200 Abbott Road, Knox, info@mapleconfections.com, 568-7576.

Raider’s Sugarhouse, 148 Bog Brook Road, China, 968-2005.

Wilson Family Maple Syrup, 652 Benton Road, Albion, 453-6969.

Nutkin Knoll Farms & Sugarworks, 269 Chapman Road, Newburgh, 234-7268, maine-christmas-trees.com.

For more information and articles about the science, making, storage and history of maple syrup in Maine, visit mainemapleproducers.com.