Excitement was in the air Friday as people got ready for the 32nd Annual Endless Mountains Maple Festival which is being held today and Sunday at Alparon Park in Troy.

At the park, vendors were setting up, including Jeanne Andrews of Gillett, with Hall's Fudge and Taffy.

"We're hoping to have a successful weekend," she said. She noted that they had five flavors of taffy: banana, cinnamon, strawberry, vanilla and watermelon, and a number of kinds of fudge.

One of the highlights of the festival this year is the "Show of Fire & Destruction" Monster Truck Show at 2 p.m. on Sunday, with the Pit Party and autograph signing taking place at 1 p.m. Monster Truck rides are available.

At Eighmey Chevrolet Buick Friday in Troy, one of the monster trucks, "Backdraft," was on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The driver, Jeremy Slifko of Pottsville, Pa., was on hand.

He said the monster truck is designed to look like a fire truck, with lights, sirens and a rescue body.

Stephanie Perry of Columbia Cross Roads was looking over the truck with her son, Cody, 6, who said he liked the truck's siren. He thought the monster truck was "cool."

"He loves them," she said. "We're going to the show on Sunday."

Slifko noted that "Backdraft" weighs 14,000 pounds and has 1,500 horsepower. Its tires are five feet tall and the truck is 12 feet tall. "This is the only fire truck monster truck on the competition circuit," he said.

He enjoys taking part in the shows. "The big draw for me is having people come out and watch us run, and forget about their lives for a while," he said.

The festival also features the Leaps N Boundz Dog Show at 10 a.m., noon, and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; The Dazzling Mills Family features acrobats, jugglers, and a unicyclist at the trackside stage at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on Sunday; and the Fifth Annual Battle of the Bands on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m., with a new band every half hour and winners announced at the end.

In addition, horse pulls will be held on Saturday, at 11 a.m. with the "World Famous Miniature Horse Pulls" following at 1 p.m.

Here is the schedule for Saturday: all day, antique tractor display; 9 a.m., Wiggle 100 Live Remote; 10 a.m. Leaps N Boundz Dog Show; 11 a.m., Battle of the Bands begins; 11 a.m., horse pulls; 11 a.m., Kiddie Tractor Pulls; noon, Leaps N Boundz Dog Show; 1 p.m. World Famous Miniature Horse Pulls; 2 p.m., Pancake Eating Contest; 3 p.m., maple product judging; and 4 p.m., Leaps N Boundz Dog Show.

Here is the schedule for Sunday: all day, Monster Truck Rides; all day, Car & Bike Show - People's Choice Awards with trophies; all day, antique tractor display; 10 a.m., Leaps N Boundz Dog Show; 11 a.m., The Dazzling Mills Family; 11 a.m., Kiddie Tractor Pull/Pull Offs; noon, Leaps N Boundz Dog Show; 1 p.m., The Dazzling Mills Family; 1 p.m., Monster Truck Show Pit Party and autographs; 2 p.m., Monster Truck Show; 3 p.m., The Dazzling Mills Family; and 4 p.m., Leaps N Boundz Dog Show.

Scheduled events on both days include a flea market and craft show; vendors and maple products; a pancake breakfast served all day; Bar C Petting Zoo and camel rides; pedal tractor pulls for children by B & H; a mechanical bull ride, which is new; the season opening of the Farm Museum and Historical Village and Quilt Show; an antique tractor display; a 50/50 raffle; lawn and garden equipment displays; and an evaporator display.

The festival will be held 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $3, and all grounds entertainment is free with paid admission, excluding the Monster Truck Show. Children under 8 years old are admitted free, when accompanied by an adult.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: