Celebrate the Season in the Heart of Maple Country

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Ana Reichert of Cuyahoga Falls is focusing intently on her Maple stir at Chardon Square on April 12, 2015.

The Geauga County Maple Festival has become a tradition, not just here in Ohio, but across the nation.

This year marks the 86th annual Maple Festival. This year’s festival will take place on Thursday, April 23 thru Sunday, April 26.

The Grand Marshals of the festival will be Chardon-native Jason T. Smith from the show “Thrift Hunters” on Spike T.V. and Melissa Mack from Fox 8 News.

Jason is a 1989 graduate of Chardon High school. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Melissa, a Northeast Ohio native, has recently returned home to Cleveland.

The Maple Festival began in 1926 when Mr. Art Carlson attempted to market Ohio Maple syrup in competition with Vermont maple syrup. The first Maple Festival featured free dishes of maple syrup, trees that were tapped to produce the essential maple sap, a display of maple products, and a team of oxen gathering the sap.

Today’s Festival still features maple product displays, historical maple sap gathering equipment, the largest maple contest held in the state of Ohio and, of course, the traditional sugarhouse on Chardon Square. It also features fun carnival rides and games.

Everyone in the area knows what is just around the corner when the sugarhouse is erected on the square. Inside, an evaporator is set up to demonstrate the process of turning maple sap into maple syrup. Look for the delicious maple candy, maple cotton candy and maple caramel corn on sale at various locations throughout the festival.

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Chardon Square on April 12, 2015 before all of the Maple Festival hub-bub!

The Maple Festival is quite the event here in Northeast Ohio. Many locals who have since moved to other locations come back each year for the Maple Festival. It has become a place and time to re-connect with friends and family as well as partake of the tasty goodness that is the Maple Stir! Don’t forget to ask for a double and get the cowbell treatment — some folks get a thrill out of that alone. A parade takes place on Saturday during the festival as well as a Grand Parade on Sunday. Anyone wishing to log a few running miles and brave enough to take on the hills of Chardon can lace up for the annual Sap Run on Sunday morning.

Of course, one would be remiss talking about the Maple Festival and not mentioning the various pancake breakfasts around the square. For more information about the 2015 Maple Festival visit www.MapleFestival.com.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News