ST. ALBANS — One lane of Main Street blocked by vendors, a carousel in Taylor Park and the sweet aroma of syrup and sugar can only mean one thing: the Vermont Maple Festival is here.

The 49th annual event was to kick off today at noon with the national anthem sung by local teenager Rosie Newton and a maple and milk toast. The Vermont Maple Store and Maple Exhibit Hall were to open in the Bellows Free Academy cafeteria at 10 a.m., and: chainsaw art; children’s, comedy and talent shows; maple syrup testing and fair rides will be offered throughout the day.

Those craving food can hit up the concession stands on Main Street or the craft and specialty foods show at BFA, which runs from 12-6 p.m.

A number of events will be offered Saturday and Sunday, including the pancake breakfast at St. Albans City School from 7 a.m. to noon both days, sugarhouse tours on Saturday and the 36th annual Sap Run on Sunday morning.

The traditional parade is a little different this year, beginning at noon. and running for an hour and a half up Stebbins Street, along Main Street and down Lower Newton Street.

Other new additions to the festival include, but are not limited to a carousel in Taylor Park, the Buck Lewis Comedy Show at BFA tonight at 8, an 802 Disc Dogs show in Taylor Park at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, a woodsman competition for Cold Hollow Career Center students on Main Street at 1 p.m. Saturday and several children’s entertainment shows throughout the weekend.

A full maple festival schedule can be found at