In its fifth year, the festival draws thousands of visitors who want to experience the fun, the flavor, and the history of maple syrup from Native American times, to the early settlers, and learn about the newest syrup creations being developed for the finest restaurants.
There are also many treats to sample, including maple pork chops, maple baked beans and pancakes smothered in real maple syrup.
Activities include bluegrass music, history re-enactors, crafts, artwork, the world’s greatest pancake flipper (according to Guinness), as well as, artisan foods and syrups to sample and purchase. Events are ongoing and take place inside the local school and outdoors on the rustic Burton's Maplewood Farm where each season more than 700 maple trees are tapped for the farm’s artisanal, barrel-aged syrup creations. Shuttle buses are available to take visitors between the two venues.
One of the highlights of the event is the Sweet Victory Challenge sponsored by King Arthur flour where the best amateur cooks in America will compete for prizes with their own original maple syrup recipes. These dishes will be whipped up by volunteer cooks, judged by professional chefs and sampled by lucky visitors Entries are due by February 22.
All benefits from the National Maple Syrup Festival go to the Heads Up!!! Foundation that supports the Craniofacial Anomalies Program at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. While most of the events are free to the public, food prices are reasonable and shuttle service is $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors.
Over the years the festival has been growing with more to see, taste and do. Medora is an easy day trip from Louisville, Cincinnati, Evansville, Terre Haute and Indianapolis. Located near the Hoosier National Forest, the Hoosier Wine Trail, and the Covered Bridge Loop, Medora is located just few miles from Seymour, Indiana (the boyhood home of singer John Mellencamp) where lodging is available.
King Arthur Flour is known by avid bakers for its consistent baking performance and lack of chemical additives. A variety of King Arthur’s unbleached flours and additive- and preservative-free baking mixes is available at supermarkets nationwide. King Arthur Flour’s mail-order catalogue is available online at kingarthurflour.com and at The Baker’s Store in Norwich, Vermont.
Images: E J Musgrave; Burton's Maplewood Farm
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.