Sunday, February 7, 2016

Maple Sugar Fest 2016

While I love the traditions and celebrations surrounding Christmas and the New Year...winter is just not my favorite season. Hibernating in my home with rambunctious kids in need of an outlet for their boundless energy can make anyone weary.  When I learned our town would see a rise in temps this weekend, I began searching the Internet for something to do outside... a little out of the ordinary.

We discovered the Missouri Department of Conservation's annual Maple Sugar Festival at Rockwoods Reservation. Not only was the weather gorgeous, but since the temperature varied  greatly between night to day -- the sap really flowed. More than half a dozen activity booths dotted the grounds. We learned how to identify and tap trees and discovered that sap is 97% water and must be boiled down for many, many hours before it becomes the delicious sweet topping we enjoy on our pancakes. In the "Trials of the Time" booth - Natalie and I sawed through a tree limb using a cross-cut saw. No festival would be complete without food - in addition to food trucks, the event offered samples of dollar pancakes with syrup, maple taffy and kettle corn.

February is still not my favorite time of the year - but this festival offered our family a sweet break from the winter blahs. 

"It looks like water."
sampling the sap
Sugar on Snow
Nat tries Maple Taffy
"I'm glad we don't have to do this anymore!"
We came, We sawed...right through!
Noah wasn't interested in visiting the booths but did enjoy the sunshine
Each child had the opportunity to select two small prizes from the MDCs gift shop.
Frisbees were a popular choice for many.
After we sawed off our wood round - we took it to the branding station.

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