Short, but Sweet! Maple Season Celebrations at Westfield
The Maple Syrup season in Ontario lasts only a few weeks, but it’s one of the sweetest times of year! One of the best places to enjoy this annual tradition is at Westfield Heritage Village’s Maple Syrup Festival. The event takes place on every Sunday in March, as well as Wednesday and Thursday of March Break. Westfield is the place to see both traditional and modern methods of making maple syrup and you can even sample made-at-Westfield syrup!
“The first taps usually go into the trees in February,” says Peter Lloyd, who manages the modern evaporator at Westfield. “The temperature needs to rise above freezing in the daytime and then drop back below zero at night. That’s prime time for tree tapping.”
There is so much to learn at the festival! You can see demonstrations of the traditional, labour-intensive techniques used to produce maple syrup in early Ontario. Then, take a short, beautiful walk into Westfield’s sugar bush. There you can visit the sugar shack and learn about (and taste!) some of Westfield’s very own maple syrup produced in a modern evaporator.
“The Maple Syrup Festival is a springtime celebration that has become a favourite tradition in our community,” says Lisa Hunter, coordinator of Westfield’s programs and events. “Westfield is only a few minutes from Hamilton, Brantford and Cambridge, and everyone just loves to be doing something outside after the long, dark winter months. Plus, maple syrup can only be made for a short time each year, so it’s worth celebrating!”
Westfield is not only a great place to learn about maple syrup, but you can also explore more than 30 historic buildings. These are staffed by Westfield’s knowledgeable, authentically costumed volunteers, who carry out a range of interesting historical activities and demonstrations. The Gift Shop, operated by the Friends of Westfield, offers a wide selection of maple products, including syrup, fudge, teas and candies. Sweet treats are also available for purchase at the General Store. No visit to the festival would be complete without a stop at the Ironwood Hall, where the St. George Lions Club will be serving up an all-day, hot pancake breakfast.
The Maple Syrup Festival at Westfield is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and to learn about maple syrup and Ontario’s history. Bring a friend or the whole family! Tours and demonstrations run throughout the day and there are free tractor-drawn wagon rides to enjoy a tour around the village.
The Maple Syrup Festival at Westfield runs Sundays through March – 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 as well as March Break days, Wednesday March 13 and Thursday March 14. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for seniors (65+) and $6.50 for Youths ages 6-17. Children 5 and under are admitted free. Family Rate is $35 (2 Adults and 2 Youth). HCA Membership Pass holders receive free admission for two adults and up to four youths.