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Maine Maple Sunday draws good crowds

SMYRNA, Maine — Mild weather encouraged strong turnouts for local maple syrup businesses over the weekend who were recognizing Maine Maple Sunday.

Maine Maple Sunday is held the fourth Sunday in March each year. Participating sugar houses were open for visitors to enjoy freshly made maple syrup and candy, demonstrations of syrup production, sugarbush tours and a variety of other family-themed activities.

“This is one of our busiest weekends of the year,” said Korinne Brannan of Spring Break Maple and Honey. “Our maple taffy is an absolute hit. It is one of the main things people come for.”

Maple taffy involves heating syrup to 235 degrees and then pouring the hot taffy syrup onto a bed of fresh snow, she explained. As it cools, the taffy can be rolled onto a popsicle stick and eaten.

Younger visitors to Spring Break Maple and Honey were able to take part in a scavenger hunt, searching for items such as animal tracks in the snow, a tapped tree and “Scout” the Brannan’s friendly dog who greeted visitors.

At Bradbury Farms in Bridgewater, the sap was not flowing, but that did little to discourage visitors.

“We had a very busy weekend, likely a record crowd for us,” Bart Bradbury said. “We we’re also able to host Maine Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Whitcomb who spent the day visiting sugar houses in the northern Maine area.”

The colder temperatures have slowed the flow of tree sap, he said.

“Unfortunately the sap wasn’t running on Sunday because of the colder temperatures, but it was a nice sunny day to come to the woods,” he said. “We were able to boil both days with sap collected the previous week. Everyone was able to enjoy maple taffy on the snow and all the other maple treats.  It was a great weekend and we’ll be open the next two weekends as well.”

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