The 5th National Maple Syrup Festival is coming to the beautiful hills of Brown County, Indiana on March 5-8! I have been every year and each year it gets bigger and (even) better. This is a great event for the whole family and a perfect day-trip in March.
The location for this year’s festival has been moved to Nashville, Indiana and they are really rolling out the red carpet! Below you get a little more information about each of the events so you can plan your trip.
National Maple Syrup Festival
Indiana holds the southern and westernmost position in the United States’ ‘Maple Syrup Belt’ meaning as winter gives way to spring the sap flows first in Indiana’s maple stands. The rolling hills of Brown County,which is Indiana’s most densely forested county, is an ideal location for the festival.
The 2015 National Maple Syrup Festival will bring together maple sugar producers and hobbyists from all over, maple syrup connoisseurs, and visitors on a local, statewide, and potentially national level to highlight and promote Indiana’s role in the national production of maple syrup. Festival guests will learn the basics of maple syrup and the sugaring process, will be able to see how syrup is produced and used today, as well as learn the sweet history behind maple sugar production. The festival will also enable maple sugar producers to promote their products, share their stories, and help build a statewide brand for maple sugar and maple syrup production.
Listen to Tim Burton of Burton’s Maplewood Farms share the history of Maple Syrup in Indiana HERE
The Dutch Oven Diva, a real life friend of mine, will cook, bake and have samples of her dutch oven cooking around a huge stone fireplace in Brown County State Park.
The rangers there will lead interpretive hikes, teaching how to identify maple trees in winter and spring.
Descendants of the Delaware and Shawnee will reenact how their ancestors made maple syrup on this land centuries ago, and nearby French Colonial reenactors will demonstrate how early white settlers made it differently.
Downtown Nashville’s Pioneer Village will come alive with demonstrations of early pioneer sugaring methods. Nashville restaurants and retailers will focus on maple-related foods and wares, local food and art artisans with candies, breads, chocolates, and other foods and art from maple sap and maple trees will line the streets. Here is a listing of the restaurants, breweries and wineries that are offering a maple-themed menu during the festival. Check the link often to see the new additions.
Authors who have written on the maple syrup craft will be featured guests at dinners with foods and beers from maple syrup, bottles of Indiana-made pure maple syrup and loads of fun for adults and kids.
There is a ticketed themed dinner both Thursday and Friday in Nashville. Get more information on the dinner on Thursday HERE and Friday HERE . You can also buy your dinner tickets through each of those links.
Ever had a pancake flipped onto your plate from 20 yards? Chris Cakes travels the country making incredible pancakes coupled with a show like none other, and the Brown County High School is hosting that show both Sat. and Sun. mornings, March 7 and 8. This is for sure the highlight of the event for my 15 year old son Noah. I am pretty sure he ate 20 of these last time. Needless to say the kids enjoy watching this edible show!
Get more information on the National Maple Syrup Festival HERE
Sweet Victory Challenge
Along with the National Maple Syrup Festival, there is the Sweet Victory Challenge sponsored by Burton’s Maplewood Farm. I am so excited to be a part of the SVC again this year and it promises to be a hard event to judge! Already there are SO many great recipes that have been entered by both adults AND children under the age of 17. Both divisions of age can enter both savory and sweet recipes that use and focus on pure maple syrup as an ingredient.
Get the full details
This year the Sweet Victory Challenge will be held at one of my favorite places in Indiana: Story Inn. Story Inn is located roughly 15 minutes from Nashville and in my opinion is quite possibly one of the best weekend getaways in the state. The food is phenomenal, the accommodations are quaint and comfortable and it is probably one of the few places in Indiana where I can go to truly relax. Learn more about Story Inn HERE.
A panel of judges will select five finalists in each division/category based on creativity, appetizing description, ease of preparation, and appropriate use of the required products. On March 7 and 8, the competition days, local volunteers and culinary school students will prepare each dish for final judging at these times:
Sat., March 7, 10 a.m. Youth Breakfast
Sat., March 7, 1 p.m. Youth Savory
Sat., March 7, 4 p.m. Youth Dessert
Sun., March 8, 10 a.m. Adult Breakfast
Sun., March 8, 1 p.m. Adult Savory
Sun., March 8, 4 p.m. Adult Dessert
Finalists need not be present to win. The grand prize for each category in the adult division is $200; second prize is $100. In the youth division, first prize in each category is a $100; second prize is $50.