How sweet it is Sugar on Snow Day today at Mt. Pisgah State Park
Nicole Harris, coordinator for today's Sugar on Snow Day at Mt. Pisgah State Park in West Burlington Township, has a feeling that the free outdoor event could draw a good crowd.
"People are going to be stir crazy and ready to get out," she said.
"I think people at this time of the year have cabin fever, so a day spent outside with your family enjoying nature's goodness with maple syrup and learning some old-fashioned traditions, it's just a recipe for a good time at Sugar on Snow."
Throughout the years, attendance has more than doubled at the annual event.
Last year, nearly 700 people showed up, compared to only 300 the first year. It's the fourth year for Sugar on Snow Day, hosted by the Friends of Mt. Pisgah State Park.
The hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today for the event. According to the National Weather Service, the high will be 44 degrees, with a 30 percent chance of rain/snow.
"I am positive we are going to have a fantastic day," Harris commented. "Anytime you can get people outdoors enjoying nature is a good day, with their families especially."
"Everybody is just itching for something to do outside."
Harris said they will tap the trees and collect the sap and then take it back to the Sugar Shack, where it will be boiled down to maple syrup that people can taste.
"Then, Barry Estep and Jerry Frantz will cook it down further until it turns taffy-like and pour it over snow, which is what the event is named for, Sugar on Snow," Harris said.
Last year, Harris said, she was busy taking groups on tours to learn how to tap trees with a bit and brace.
"I was continually doing that, I couldn't even get back to the Sap House and I had another group coming out," she said.
"Join us at the Sugar Shack to tap a tree, discover some facts about the history of maple sugarin' and also assist in the collection of the raw sap," the Friends stated in a news release about the event.
"Park staff and volunteers will be demonstrating the 'boiling down' process with the wood-fired evaporator, and even giving away samples of 'sugar over snow.' The Friends of Mt. Pisgah will also be making homemade ice cream and doughnuts, setting out
geocaches, demonstrating seasonal plant ID, creating rag dolls, listening to banjo music and roasting hotdogs and s'mores over an open fire."
The Friends invite families to bring a sled, make a snowman and try on a pair of snowshoes.
"Come for a sample and discover the natural taste of pure maple syrup, while enjoying a day with your family in the outdoors."
Harris said Max and Mason Weed also will be offering horse-drawn wagon rides and Nelson Waffle will be playing music in the Nature Center. She noted that the ice cream at the event is always a hit. She thought the sledding down the hill in front of the hilltop pavilion will be fun for families.
And she thinks the snow that remains on the ground will make the Sugar on Snow Day "seem more true to its name."
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.