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Natural Goodness on Tap at the Parke County Maple Syrup Fair

Parket County Maple Syrup FairIt’s hard to beat the natural goodness of pure maple syrup, especially when it’s drizzled over fresh-made waffles or pancakes with melted butter. For anyone appreciates natural, home-made maple syrup straight from the tap, the Maple Syrup Fair™, presented by Parke County Incorporated, offers a real treat, both literally and figuratively. The Parke County’s Maple Syrup Producers will be in action at this year’s event, tapping maple trees for the natural sugar water that is used in the making of maple syrup.

The fair takes place toward the end of winter, from the last weekend of February through the first weekend of March at the Parke County Maple Syrup Fair™. It’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy some crispy, clean winter air while traveling local country roads to see many of the maple syrup camps that are sprinkled throughout the county. In addition to the world famous covered bridges, be sure to check out the “sugar camps” to see up-close how real maple syrup is made, and even enjoy a sampling of actual product. Camps include Baird’s Sugar Shack, Sweetwater Farms , Smiley’s Camp  and Foxworthy, Williams & Teague. Few people realize that it takes close to sixty gallons of sugar water, after everything has been reduced, to make just a single gallon of golden maple syrup.

The Maple Syrup Fair™ is headquartered off Highway 41 at the county 4-H Fairgrounds, approximately one mile north of Rockville, Indiana. While at the fair headquarters, be sure to try some homemade pancakes, which will be served all day long with whole hog sausage and—you guessed it—golden maple syrup. Everyone from local senior citizens to 4-H Junior Leaders will be expected to join in the pancake makin’ action.

On display at the fair headquarters will be maple syrup products, including pure maple syrup, maple syrup cookies and maple sugar candy. Also on display will be a great selection of jams and jellies, home baked goodies, handmade crafts and even the works of Parke County artisans.

One of the centerpieces of the Maple Syrup Fair™, aside from the maple syrup, is a display presented by the Covered Bridge Art Association, which features works of art for sale by talented local artists. This is a chance to support the local art scene.

Oh, and be sure to stop by the Butcher Shop. Meats bought at your everyday grocer will have a tough time competing with these delicious, country-smoked hams, bacons, country pork sausages and cheeses.

Other Attractions:

The old opera house, now called the Ritz Theatre, will feature the “Parke Players” in theatrical performances on Friday and Saturday nights during the fair. The shows are scheduled to start at 7 pm. Parke County Collectibles offers a good variety of handmade and homegrown products, including oil paintings, woodcrafts, clothing and handmade dolls. Finally, the many shops and antique malls of Rockville’s Historic Town Square, as well as the Covered Bridge Art Gallery, are a must-see while in town.

Event info:

  • Parke County Maple Syrup Fair™
  • Highway 41 at the county 4-H Fairgrounds, 1 mi. N of Rockville, IN.
  • 8 am to 4 pm
  • Website
  • Maps and info available at the fair headquarters.

Mike Woods