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National Maple Syrup Festival Mar. 2-3, 2019 @iluvbrowncounty

February 13, 2019 Leave a comment
story-inn-in-brown-county

The historic Story Inn in Brown County, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

By Aubrey Sitzman
Brown County CVB

NASHVILLE, Ind., (February 12, 2019) – Maple mania has struck in Brown County again! After a two-year hiatus, the National Maple Syrup Festival is back! This year’s fun, sticky, and oh-so-sweet festival will be held at the one and only Story Inn on March 2-3, 2019.

Originating in Medora, Indiana in 2010, the festival moved to Brown County in 2015. Geographically, Indiana holds the southern and westernmost position in the United States’ Maple Sugar Belt meaning as winter gives way to spring the sap flows first in Indiana’s maple stands. As Indiana’s most densely forested county, Brown County is an ideal location for the National Maple Syrup Festival as it is rich in natural resources, home to a wide variety of maple trees, and reflects the pioneering essence and history of maple sugar production.

A grand celebration of all things maple, the festival will bring together maple sugar producers and hobbyists, maple syrup connoisseurs, and visitors of all ages for a weekend full of activities and events.

Taking place at the beautiful and historic Story Inn, festival-goers will see first-hand how the magic is made during Native American, early French American, and modern-day sugaring demonstrations. Arts and crafts from Indiana Artisans also will be on display for admiring and purchasing. There will even be dutch oven cooking demos by none other than the Dutch Oven Diva Lesley Tennessen herself and a couple of pals. Recipes will feature maple syrup, of course!

The National Maple Syrup Festival also will include local and regional food vendors, beer, wine, and spirits, including Brown County’s Bear Wallow Distillery who will be debuting a special release maple-finished Gnaw Bone Bourbon. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of maple syrup from Indiana producers for sale too! Festival-goers also will be able to enjoy live music by local musicians Silver Sparrow and Will Scott. Tickets to the main festival grounds are $10 for adults and free for children under 12. Tickets include admission for both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.browncounty.com/event/national-maple-syrup-festival/all/ or at the festival entrance gate.

No maple syrup festival would be complete without pancakes, which is exactly why Chris Cakes will be serving up delicious hotcakes with a side of entertainment during the festival’s Pancake Breakfasts on March 2 and 3. Dig into all-you-can-eat pancakes with 100% pure maple syrup, sausage, and tasty breakfast beverages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Story Inn. Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for kids 11 and under. Tickets to pancake breakfasts can only be purchased the day of.

The National Maple Syrup Festival also will include a special Maple-Inspired Dinner at the Story Inn on Saturday, March 2 at 6 p.m. Four delicious, maple-infused courses will be skillfully paired with local brews and spirits for your dining pleasure. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased online at www.facebook.com/events/355393145293879/. Must be 21 or older to attend this dinner.

Another fun foodie event will be the Sweet Victory Challenge on Sunday, March 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A festival tradition, this cooking competition gathers recipes from across the nation featuring maple syrup in breakfast, savory, and sweet categories. Then, the top five recipes from each are picked and prepared in-house at the Story Inn, where they are presented to judges to pick their favorites. The audience will even get to taste-test a few too! The Sweet Victory Challenge is free and open to the public but has limited seating.

While festival headquarters will be buzzing with activity all weekend long, there will be plenty of maple fun going on in the Village of Nashville as well. Check out Sap School at the Visitors Center on Saturday, March 2. Learn the basics of maple syrup from a Brown County producer, then head out for a short walk where you’ll learn how to identify maple trees and even get to see a tree or two get tapped! This event is free and begins at 10 a.m.

There’s also Maple on the Menu too! The whole month of March, some of Brown County’s finest restaurants and snack shops will be serving sweet and savory maple-infused items. Look for dishes and goodies that bring a unique maple twist to classic favorites, as well as truly one-of-a-kind maple creations. Participating restaurants and shops will have “Maple on the Menu” signs in their windows. The full list of Maple on the Menu items will be announced on February 18 at www.browncounty.com/event/maple-on-the-menu/.

There is no doubt about it, there is something sweet happening in Brown County this March. Come see for yourself. It’s guaranteed to be a memorable maple experience!

More information on the National Maple Syrup Festival is available at https://nationalmaplesyrupfestival.com/ or by calling 812-988-2273.

National Maple Syrup Festival in Brown County, Mar. 5-6, 2016

February 7, 2016 Leave a comment
national-maple-syrup-festival-sap

National Maple Syrup Festival Tapping in southern Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Aubrey Sitzman
Brown County CVB

Maple mania has officially struck Brown County as the National Maple Syrup Festival is fast approaching! The fun, sticky, and oh so sweet Festival returns to Brown County for a second year, March 5-6, 2016.

Originating in Medora, Indiana, in 2010, the Festival moved to Brown County in 2015. Geographically, Indiana holds the southern and westernmost position in the United States’ Maple Sugar Belt meaning as winter gives way to spring the sap flows first in Indiana’s maple stands. As Indiana’s most densely forested county, Brown County is an ideal location for the National Maple Syrup Festival as it is rich in natural resources, home to a wide variety of maple trees, and reflects the pioneering essence and history of maple sugar production.

The grand celebration of all things maple, the Festival will bring together maple sugar producers and hobbyists, maple syrup connoisseurs, and visitors of all ages for a weekend full of activities and events. From live sugaring demonstrations and guided hikes to warm maple syrup flights, kids activities, a pancake breakfast, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the National Maple Syrup Festival.

New to the 2016 Festival is Tap the Town on February 27. Taking place the weekend before the Festival, this hands-on experience provides guests with the unique opportunity to tap their own maple tree in the Village of Nashville! Tap the Town at Creekside Retreat includes a maple sugaring program with brunch beginning at 11 a.m. The event also will include a visit to Hinkle-Garton Farmstead, a commemorative bottle of pure Indiana maple syrup, and tickets to the National Maple Syrup Festival on March 5-6.

Visitors will learn the ropes of tapping before searching out the perfect tree in town. After inserting their tap, they will be able to watch firsthand as the sap begins to flow, officially kicking off Brown County’s maple festivities. Participants also will receive sap production updates on their tree and the sap collected will be used for demonstrations during the National Maple Syrup Festival. This one-of-a-kind event costs $125 per couple or $150 for a group of four. A $20 fee will be charged for each additional person after that. Tickets are available online atwww.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival.

With the sap freely flowing, maple mania will continue the following weekend at the National Maple Syrup Festival, March 5-6. This year Festival headquarters will be at the Brown County State Park. Not only will festival guests learn the basics of maple syrup and the sugaring process, they also will be able to see for themselves how it is done.

The State Park’s Lower Shelter will serve as the hub for all the maple excitement. Inside and surrounding the Lower Shelter, guests will be able to freely explore the Festival’s maple marvels. There will be live reenactments of Native American and French Colonial maple sugaring techniques, as well as modern day sugaring demonstrations. Festival-goers also will have the opportunity to attend Sap School, where they will learn from sugaring experts all there is to know about the maple biz and sugaring in general.

Kids will be able to test their sugar making skills too during Sugaring for Small Folks, a fun and interactive experience showcasing the sap to syrup process. After the kiddos have mastered maple sugaring, they can take on the Maple Syrup Heist Challenge Course, an obstacle course modeled after the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist of 2012.

Festivities also will include guided interpretive hikes along State Park trails. Groups will depart from the Lower Shelter for a leisurely stroll, where they will identify maple trees and learn their role in sugar and syrup production. Of course, there will be syrup sampling as well. For a small fee, festival-goers will be able to try a variety of syrups produced in multiple states as they dive into a warm maple syrup flight. Sponsored by Rawhide Ranch, guests will have the opportunity to create their serving tray and souvenir by branding a piece of wood.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the Festival’s Maple Market will offer maple-related merchandise, a beer and wine garden, live acoustic music, and food, all under a heated tent. There will even be a culinary competition featuring maple recipes at the Abe Martin Lodge on Saturday!

The National Maple Syrup Festival will take place on Saturday, March 5 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Weekend admission is $10; children 6 and under are free. Festival-goers can park in town and board the Maple Motor Coach for a park tour ending at the Festival gates. Minimal parking also will be available within the State Park. Tickets can be purchased online at www.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival, at the Festival gate, or in the Visitors Center.

While Festival headquarters will be buzzing with activity all weekend long, there will be plenty of maple fun going on in town as well. No maple syrup festival would be complete without pancakes, which is exactly why Chris Cakes will be serving up delicious hotcakes with a side of entertainment during the Festival’s Pancake Breakfasts on March 5 and 6. Hosted by the Brown County High School Student Council, these breakfasts are an all-you-can-eat steal. The breakfasts will be held at Brown County High School from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-18, or $30 for the entire family. Children 2 years and younger are free. Tickets are available online at www.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival or can be purchased at the door.

Guests can definitely expect to find plenty of Maple on the Menu around town too. During the Festival, some of Brown County’s finest restaurants and treat shops will be serving sweet and savory maple-infused items. Look for items that bring a unique maple twist to classic favorites, as well as truly one-of-a-kind maple creations. Participating restaurants and shops will be designated with a “Maple on the Menu” sign. Special Maple on the Menu dishes will be available for three weekends: February 26-28, March 4-6, and March 11-13.

While the National Maple Syrup Festival may end on March 6, maple festivities continue during Indiana’s first-ever Maple Weekend, March 12-13. Presented by the Indiana Maple Syrup Association and the National Maple Syrup Festival, Indiana Maple Weekend will provide guests with an exclusive look inside various sugar camps around the state. From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, attendees will be able to see how trees are tapped, how sap gets to the sugar house, and how it becomes maple syrup and other maple products. Details about Indiana Maple Weekend can be found at www.facebook.com/IndianaMapleWeekend/.

There is no doubt about it, Brown County has been struck with maple mania. From Tap the Town and the National Maple Syrup Festival to Indiana Maple Weekend, there is definitely something sweet happening in Brown County. Come check it out for yourself. It is guaranteed to be a memorable maple experience!

More information on Brown County’s maple-related events, including tickets to Tap the Town and the National Maple Syrup Festival, are available online at www.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival or by calling 812-988-7303.

Dutch Oven Diva at Brown County State Park, Mar. 7-8, 2015

January 31, 2015 Leave a comment
Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2009, all rights reserved.

By Aubrey Sitzman
Brown County CVB

As part of the 2015 National Maple Syrup Festival being held in Brown County, Ind., campfire cooking extraordinaire Lesley Tennessen, better known as the Dutch Oven Diva, will prepare sweet and savory maple-based food creations in the Brown County State Park on March 7 and 8, 2015.

Stationed around a huge stone fireplace in the Lower Shelter of the park, the Dutch Oven Diva will cook live for festival guests, who will be able to enjoy samples and experience firsthand the fine art of outdoor cooking. Using only Dutch ovens, the Diva will serve up delicious dishes all featuring maple ingredients on Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Enjoying a tasty dinner around a campfire with friends and family near is hard to beat, which is why the Dutch Oven Diva has made it her mission to share with others her talent for unconventional, outdoor cooking. Being an avid outdoors person since childhood, the Dutch Oven Diva has pursued her love of the great outdoors over the years through hiking, camping, and campfire cooking.

The Diva has also been a lifelong member of Girl Scouts, serving and teaching Girl Scouts outdoor skills. It was during her time teaching outdoor cooking to Girl Scouts that she discovered the Dutch oven. It didn’t take long for The Diva’s interest and talent to grow as she began to explore and master Dutch oven cooking.

Soon Tennessen began to get involved with Dutch oven gatherings and before she knew it, The Diva had become the face of the Midwest for Dutch oven cooking, serving in leadership positions for several Dutch oven societies. Tennessen also currently teaches classes focusing on Dutch oven cooking, outdoor skills, teamwork, and group facilitation.

The Dutch Oven Diva is a well-known star among Dutch oven circles and true queen of campfire cooking. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to witness firsthand the Diva in action at the 2015 National Maple Syrup Festival. Cooking alongside Tennessen will be fellow Dutch oven comrades, Steve Meneely and Tina Misicka.

In addition to Dutch oven cooking, festival guests will be also be able to experience the maple sap to syrup process at the Brown County State Park through live demonstrations of tree tapping and sugaring. Descendants of the Delaware and Shawnee will reenact how their ancestors made maple syrup on this land centuries ago, and nearby French Colonial reenactors will demonstrate how early settlers made it differently. Interpretive hikes will also begin at the Lower Shelter and will travel through the woods, where festival guests can see tapped trees, learn the tapping process, as well as learn to identify maple trees in the winter.

Several other activities and events will be occurring throughout the county and within the Village of Nashville as part of the National Maple Syrup Festival including a culinary competition, a dinner series, live sugaring demonstrations, a pancake breakfast, live music, children’s activities, the sale of maple-related goods and foods, and much more.

For more information on activities occurring in the Brown County State Park and elsewhere as part of the National Maple Syrup Festival, please visit nationalmaplesyrupfestival.com and be sure to make plans to attend March 5-8.

Things to do in Indianapolis, Feb. 24-Mar. 2, 2014

February 23, 2014 Leave a comment