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Mmmm – much to enjoy at Maple in the County celebrations

Ed Taylor explains how maple syrup is made.

Ed Taylor explains how maple syrup is made.

The first crop of the year arrived just in time for Prince Edward County’s annual Maple in the County festival weekend.

“I didn’t think we were going to be having any for the weekend, but the syrup started dripping Friday and now we’re trying to get as much out as possible for the festival and before the weather gets cold again,” said Ed Taylor, of Honeywagon Farms Sugarbush on Sandy Hook Road.

The sight was a sweet one for thousands of visitors to the sugarbush cookhouse where Taylor explained the process of making the sweet syrup.

“It’s been a peculiar year this this. Normally we would be three-quarters of the way through but that’s nature.”

Taylor has been making maple syrup since he was a young boy  “ruining my mom’s pots and pans boiling it up.” But he’s been running the sugarbush for more than 20 years, starting with a basic, outdoor setup and now a proper shack with state-of-the-art stainless steel equipment.

“It really is a basic, simple process,” he said, beginning to explain the process to visitors. “The first day is probably the slowest and most boring, but it will all work out.”

Hallowell fire department's Al Koopmans creating perfect pancakes on the grill

Hallowell fire department’s Al Koopmans creating perfect pancakes on the grill

Meanwhile, the Hallowell Fire Department volunteers flipped pancakes, and kept sausages sizzling for servings of their famous breakfast.

Firefighters explained the workings of pumper trucks, rescue vehicles emergency equipment and children of all ages showed delight in trying on the heavy gear.

Festival activities were held throughout the County at 10 sugarbush locations. The Crystal Palace was an artisan marketplace and ice activities zone.

The HUB welcomed hundreds of children for arts and crafts activities inside the Bluebird Building. The Regent Theatre welcomed an audience for a special performance of Juno award-winning sing-along superstarts of kids’s CBC Judy and David, on Saturday afternoon.

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