After an early and unexpected February run of maple sap, the maple syrup season is ready to hit its second wind in Ontario. Producers are getting ready to showcase a new crop of sweet liquid gold during the 7th annual Maple Weekend, April 1 and 2, 2023.
Hosted by the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (OMSPA), Maple Weekend is a fun, free, two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates a new season of maple production and Ontario’s maple heritage at participating sugar bushes across the province.
“Every year we look forward to welcoming visitors to our sugar bushes to see how syrup is produced from tree to table,” said Leann Thompson, Chair of the OMSPA Maple Weekend working group. “We had a bit of an early run of warm weather in February that was a wonderful surprise and now we’re looking forward to celebrating the maple season once again in Ontario.”
Each year during Maple Weekend, maple syrup producers across Ontario welcome visitors to their sugar bushes over this two day event to buy fresh maple syrup and celebrate Ontario’s maple heritage along with a new season of production.
Celebrating the 7th Maple Weekend event in 2023 (after a two-year hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19), OMSPA is looking forward to another successful year for this sweet event. Officially launched in 2015, Maple Weekend has been steadily growing each year. Maple Weekend is a past nominee for Destination Ontario’s Tourism Event of the Year, and in 2022 the event drew close to 20,000 visitors to rural sugar bushes across the province.
In 2023, there will be nearly 70 producers taking part in Maple Weekend, with participants from the following OMSPA districts: Algoma, Algonquin & District, Eastern, Grey-Bruce & District, Haliburton-Kawartha, Lanark & District, Ottawa Valley, Quinte & District, Simcoe & District, Southwestern, and Waterloo-Wellington.
“This year will be the perfect year to discover Maple Weekend at a local sugarbush and with so many regions participating you won’t need to drive far to find one,” Thompson said. “We invite visitors to visit one sugar bush or multiple locations to maximize the sweet fun.”
Maple Weekend is a celebration of the Canadian tradition of maple syrup production, and features two full days of activities and specials at participating sugar bushes across the province. Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, visitors can expect to enjoy tasting a new crop of maple syrup and getting an inside peek at how this sweet liquid gold is produced.
Visitors can expect a traditional maple syrup experience that will vary by location but typically includes taffy on snow, sugar-making demonstrations, outdoor activities, and sugarbush trail walks.
A list of participating Maple Weekend maple syrup producers is available on the Maple Weekend website, along with further details about specials and activities for visitors at the close to 70 locations across the province. Visitors are invited to visit the Maple Weekend website at www.mapleweekend.ca for more details.