Every year in March, Indiana has a festival all about… you guessed it; maple syrup! It takes place in the morning and goes on until the late afternoon, and people come from all around to celebrate! There are two unofficial traditions at the maple syrup festival; to go while you are super bundled up (because it is usually freezing cold out), and to wear muck boots. Almost every single person you see at the festival is wearing muck boots! In Kentucky and Indiana, it rains all the time from February to almost May (its our rainy season), so the ground is always soft and muddy at the festival. Everyone comes to buy maple syrup (some of the best syrup we’ve ever tasted!) but they all stay for the fun and games!
Parking is a bit of a walk away from the fest, so they have men giving hay rides all day to and from your car! Mateo loves the hay rides 😀
At the festival, there are dozens of vendors selling homemade goods, candies, and toys! Everyone has tons of fun looking around at everything for sale and talking with the vendors. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find a super cool souvenir to take home!
The toys always become a magnet for the little ones. Its so fun to watch them get excited about everything there is to buy! Sometimes they will bring their own hard-earned money with them to buy a toy all on their own.
One vendor had an entire table of handcrafted home goods made almost entirely out of dyed wood. They were so beautiful! They had ice cream scoopers, salt shakers, pepper grinders, thread rippers, and even a few gorgeous kabuki brushes for applying makeup! Erica wanted to get one, but we never returned to the booth 😦
Oh dear, the dreaded honey sticks! Every event we go to has these flavored honey sticks, and everyone loves them. Momma always lets each person pick a flavor and she buys the sticks for us. Mateo especially loves them 😀
Now, what is a festival without awesome games to play?? Every year, we have a game called the Tomohawk Throw, where you get 3 tries to throw a tomohawk and get it to stick into a piece of a log a distance away. The boys always NEED to try it. They all tried, but sadly no tomohawks stuck to the log 😦 Better luck next year!
Of course, the festival always has its fair share of games just for little ones! They set up a whole area with fun, easy games just for the younger kids. Mateo and Olivia have so much fun playing the games! They especially liked this game, which is similar to skii ball. They sunk quite a few holes too!
This game is by far Olivias favorite; she has to ride it every year! It is a man-powered merry-go-round! There is a large pole dug into the ground, with an X shape sitting around it (those are the seats) suspended by ropes. Everyone gets in the four seats and the men start pushing and running, twisting the seats around and around the pole. Then, once it cant be wound anymore, the let go and it unwinds the other way, spinning and causing everyone riding to laugh and yell. This was Mateos first year being able to ride it, and you can tell from his smile that he had a blast with his sister! (Sorry the rope is in the way in the last picture! 😦 )
Later on in the day, it gets much warmer out and all the kids like to play in the creek! Since everyone comes in rubber boots, people even go for a nice walk in the creek water, like Jp did! He said the water felt freezing through his boots, but it felt cool too. There are lots of stones and slate on the floor around the creek, so the little ones always try to see who can skip stones the farthest. Chris always beats everyone; he can skip a stone up to four jumps! Plus, we don’t know how he does it, but he can take a stone twice as big as his head and still make it skip. He is insane!
Poor Mateo couldn’t get his stones to skip like Chris 😦 He instead just threw rocks and sticks into the water for fun 😀
Lastly, they set up a long log on stands, and two people take a two-person saw and try to saw off a piece of the log! Once you (finally) get your slice cut, you can take it to have a maple leave wood burned onto the top. Looks so beautiful, doesn’t it?
We cannot wait until next years maple syrup festival! Our jug of syrup usually lasts us until the next years fest, so lets hope this one does too!
Does your town have any festivals or seasonal traditions? We would love to hear about it! Let s know in the comments! 😉