The fourth annual National Maple Syrup Festival begins at noon Saturday at Burton’s Maplewood Farm and Medora Community School, Medora. After Saturday’s noon opening, festival hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. the first two weekends in March.
Though there are about 100 maple syrup producers in Indiana and countless festivals, this is the first and only national maple syrup festival in America.
The festival starts at Medora Community School, 82 S. George St., where pancakes and sausage are served and the Sweet Victory Challenge baking and cooking competition takes place.
Then visitors ride shuttle buses from the school to Burton’s Maplewood Farm, where they’ll see the more than 700 sugar maple trees, Pat’s Snack Shack and the famous Mellencamp Maplehouse.
Children’s activities include a farm animal petting zoo, rope-making demonstrations by Cowboy Ron, a ventriloquist, face painting, crafts and more. Live music is located in Pat’s Snack Shack and will include a variety of bands.
New this year is a Dutch Oven Cookoff and church services by the Christian Country Cowboy Church at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and March 11 at the Mellencamp Maplehouse.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for ages 5-15 and free for ages 4 and under. Bring a canned good for local food pantries, and get $2 off admission.
Proceeds from the festival benefit the Heads Up!!! Foundation, which will use the money for the Riley Hospital for Children’s “Camp About Face” at Bradford Woods, a summer camp for youth with craniofacial anomalies.