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'Fall in Love with Maple' this weekend

Oct 05, 2020

Sugar houses will be open this weekend around the state in a rescheduled Maine Maple Sunday event.

Traditionally held in March, Maine Maple Sunday was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Maine Maple Producers Association and its members will celebrate one of Maine's major agricultural products with events Oct. 9-11 in conjunction with the new North American Maple Tour in the U.S. and Canada. Its theme is "Fall in Love with Maple."

"Based on guidelines from CDC and local government officials, we are prepared and excited to host Maine Maple Producers Weekend in October," MMPA President Scott Dunn said in a press release. "There is no doubt, the pandemic has hit our producers really hard.

"While the weekend of activities might look and feel a little different, we are confident we can provide the opportunity for people to safely celebrate pure Maine maple and support local producers," he said. "October is also perfect timing to raise awareness about the health benefits of maple products."

As part of the celebration and events, the association announced virtual components for 2020, including a pure Maine maple recipe contest. The winner will be announced Oct. 9 at the Cumberland Fair sugar house.

During the pandemic and to provide an additional virtual experience, producers have started selling their products online. Several producers also now offer new pickup options. With the new purchasing options, producers have set a goal to sell more than 10,000 gallons of maple syrup products during the North American Maple Tour Oct. 9-18. The new 10-day tour includes the promotion of maple products at events, breweries, distilleries and restaurants across the Northeast.

MMPA represents more than 240 members that are licensed maple producers. Producers range from small artisan producers to bulk syrup providers who serve major grocery store chains, food service distributors and retailers.

MMPA members produce 580,000 gallons annually. Their business operations generate more than $21.6 million for the Maine economy. Members of the association also support more than 560 full-time and part-time jobs that generate more than $17.3 million in wages.

Local sugar houses open

Sugar houses participating in the North American Maple tour include:

Back Ridge Sugar House

107 Boston Road, Winterport, 944-2575. Open Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 10-11 and 17-18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sugar house tour, evaporator demonstration, maple treats for sale.

Kinney's Sugarhouse

200 Abbott Road, Knox, 568-7576. Open Friday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours of sugarbush, new sugar house addition, maple treats and cotton candy for sale.

Wilson Family Maple Syrup

652 Benton Road, Albion, 453-6969. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10-11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cotton candy, maple whoopie pies, maple doughnuts, maple lollipops, maple cream and taffy for sale.

Note that CDC guidelines limit sampling.

For more information, visit mainemapleproducers.com.

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