Maple syrup festivals

Posted on Jan 27 2020 in Travel
Photo of trees being tapped for maple syrup

In the hush across Indiana’s wintry hinterlands soon will come a tap, tap, tapping and a drip, drip, dripping as the days get longer and warmer. That’s the sound of spring a-coming. That’s the sound of maple syrup season. 

As sap starts running up from the trunks of maple trees this time of year, Hoosiers north and south will join the ancient ritual of tapping into them to collect some of the sugary water. The sap is then boiled to evaporate most of its water, leaving the amber syrup we love on pancakes and waffles, and mixed in other recipes.

Indiana isn’t among the largest maple syrup-producing states — like Vermont, which depicted the process on the back of its state quarter — but as the “Land of Indians,” Indiana is a perfect place to celebrate the process. Maple syrup, after all, is a gift of the Native Americans. Indigenous peoples in the northeast discovered the process long before Europeans ever arrived.

Beginning this month and continuing into April, multiple maple syrup festivals and programs around Indiana will show how it’s all done and — the best part — offer ample opportunity to sample the sweet syrupy goodness of the labor.

One place is LM Sugarbush, LLC, a 140-acre farm located in Salem, Indiana. Established in 1981 as Leane and Michael’s Sugarbush, the family-owned operation is hosting its 29th annual Maple Syrup Festival over two weekends, Feb. 29–March 1 and March 7–8.

The festival, which draws up to 12,000 people each year, offers not just delicious pancakes and waffles but includes demonstrations and tours of the farm. There’s a Woodland Indian maple syrup making demonstration and a demonstration of pioneers boiling the sap. Festival-goers can tour the sugarbush and learn about modern sap collecting, too.

In addition, visitors can enjoy maple-barbecued chicken, pork chops, pulled pork, music, over 50 craft and food vendors as well as many activities and games for young and old. Visit the Sugarstore and stock up on delicious Pure Maple Syrup and other maple goodies, T-shirts, mugs, and much more!

If you go …

FEB. 29-MARCH 1, MARCH 7-8
LM Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival
321 N. Garrison Hollow Road
Salem, Indiana

Along with the festival in Salem, here are some others to check out:

FEB. 15
History of Maple Syrup
Prairie Creek Park-Sugar Cabin
3230 W. French Drive
Terre Haute, Indiana 

FEB. 29
Maple Syrup Special Event
Southeastway Park
5624 S. Carroll Road
New Palestine (Marion County), Indiana

FEB. 29-MARCH 1, MARCH 7-8
Parke County Maple Fair
Parke County Fairgrounds
1472 N. US 41
Rockville, Indiana

MARCH 7, 14
Maple Syrup Days
McCloud Nature Park
8518 Hughes Road
North Salem, Indiana

MARCH 14-15, 21-22
Maple Syrup Time
Deep River County Park
9410 Old Lincoln Highway
Hobart, Indiana

MARCH 28-29
National Maple Syrup Festival
Story Inn
6404 SR 135
Story, Indiana

APRIL 24-26
Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival
100 W. Waterford St.
Wakarusa, Indiana