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
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
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
Golden Maple- Brian Young
Amber Maple- Gerald Laroche
Dark Maple- Maple Crest
Best of Show- Brian Young
- Blake Roy Award- Brian Young
Maple Sugar cakes-Glen & Ruth Goodrich
Maple Cream-Stonyhill Sugar House
Maple Fudge-Kevin Companion
Maple Granulated Sugar- Taft’s Milk & Maple
First Place- Rail City Salon
Second Place- Eaton’s Fine Jewelry
Third Place- What a Yarn & Antiques
Parade Marshals- Henry Marckres
Best of Show
Emily O’Connor – “The Team”
Best of Show / Black and White
Emily O’Connor – “Sugaring Essentials”
First Place-Cathy Emch “Checking the Apron”
Second Place- “Morgan Quimby-Making Maple Candy”
Third Place- Ashley Callan-“Checkin’ the Sweet Stuff”
First Place- Jessica Boomhower-“Helping in the Woodshed”
Second Place- Kristin Quimby-“Waiting for Perfection”
Third- Place- Ashley Callan-“Firing Buddy”
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”