50th Maple Festival brings record crowd

Visitors enjoy maple goodies, rides, parade, shows

By Elaine Ezerins

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

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ST. ALBANS — With the sun shining overhead, the 50th Annual Vermont Maple Festival was a hit, with people from all over the U.S. coming out to enjoy maple goodies, rides and the parade.

“Everything went very well,” Cecile Branon, co-chair of the festival, said. “Of course it’s too early to know, but I would say we had record number crowds.”

Branon said the weather on Friday was a bit cloudy, but the clear blue skies on Saturday and Sunday brought people out.

“We had people from all over the U.S. and Europe,” including California and Illinois, she said.

Branon said the board of trustees should have had a couple more buses for the Sugarhouse Tours. The tours, offered at 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30 on Saturday filled up quickly.

“We had to refuse people,” she said, “because we didn’t have enough buses.”

The Sugarhouse Tours wasn’t the only event people turned out for. “I got to see the parade yesterday, which I usually don’t,” Branon said. “I don’t think we could have asked for a bigger crowd. It was packed.”

The route changed this year, starting at Stebbins Street, going up Main Street and ending on Lower Newton. Branon said the new route was safer due to a lack of hills for the parade participants to walk up.

The real draw of the festival was the extraordinary amounts of maple syrup, desserts and other goodies. From maple creemies and kettle corn to maple cotton candy and Nellie’s maple donuts, there was enough maple to go around.

Branon said Nellie’s maple donuts sold out by the end of the weekend. “That was my goal,” she said. “Five-hundred dozen donuts for the 50th. All we had to do was add a zero.” That’s 6,000 donuts.

Here’s another figure. Three dozen pancakes every ten minutes for four hours.

That is what volunteers from the Franklin Masonic Lodge #4 flipped and served with a side of maple syrup Saturday and Sunday morning.

“I haven’t stopped since 6 a.m.,” Jim Walsh, a pancake flipper since 2000, said Saturday morning. “Around 11 a.m. it starts to trail off.”

“It’s well worth it,” Walsh said. “We like to do community things.”

Walsh brought his son along, nicknamed “Golden Cakes” Walsh to help flip pancakes. “We’re just doing it to do something good,” he said.

“If it wasn’t for our sponsors, I don’t know how we would have done it,” Branon said. “I don’t know what the highlight was.”

“Getting through it,” she laughed.

`Maple Festival 2016 Winners

Cooking Contest

Cakes- Patty Cross

Pies, Other Desserts- John A. Smith

Pickles- Helen Parent

Breads- Hunter Boylan-Robinson

Maple for the Health of it- Lynn Tetreault

Youth- Ella Reynolds

Best Youth Cook- Ella Reynolds

VT Best Maple Cook- John A. Smith

Ambassador- Erika Farnham

Ambassador- Jack Beauparlant

Parade Winners-

Most Creative- 302 Rise VT / NMC

Best Youth-   218 Y Early Childhood Program St. Albans

Best Entertainment- 315 Up North Dance Studio LLC

Most Maple Related- 317 Franklin County Rehab/the Villa/Holiday House

Maple Syrup

Golden Maple- Brian Young

Amber Maple- Gerald Laroche

Dark Maple- Maple Crest

Best of Show- Brian Young

  1. Blake Roy Award- Brian Young

Maple Product

Maple Sugar cakes-Glen & Ruth Goodrich

Maple Cream-Stonyhill Sugar House

Maple Fudge-Kevin Companion

Maple Granulated Sugar- Taft’s Milk & Maple

Window Display

First Place- Rail City Salon

Second Place- Eaton’s Fine Jewelry

Third Place- What a Yarn & Antiques

 

Parade Marshals- Henry Marckres

 

Photo Contest

Best of Show

Emily O’Connor – “The Team”

Best of Show / Black and White

Emily O’Connor – “Sugaring Essentials”

Process/Product

First Place-Cathy Emch “Checking the Apron”

Second Place- “Morgan Quimby-Making Maple Candy”

Third Place- Ashley Callan-“Checkin’ the Sweet Stuff”

People

First Place- Jessica Boomhower-“Helping in the Woodshed”

Second Place- Kristin Quimby-“Waiting for Perfection”

Third- Place- Ashley Callan-“Firing Buddy”

Scenic

First Place- Ashley Callan-“When Night Calls”

Second Place- Alex Balder-“The Hidden shack”

Third- Place- Ashley Callan-“Tator’s Sugar Shack”

Using Maple Syrup

First Place- Morgan Quimby-“Sap to Syrup to Candy”

Second Place- Jessica Boomhower-“Makin Maple Muffins”

Third Place- Jessica Boomhower-”Syrup good to the last drop”

Radio Winner

Wendy Root

Pete McCormick