Hopkins Forest to Host Annual MapleFest

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 21, 2013—Maple sugaring season has arrived once again, and Hopkins Memorial Forest in Williamstown will host its annual celebration to usher in the new season. The celebration will take place on Saturday, March 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held regardless of the weather and is appropriate for people of all ages.

MapleFest exalts the time-honored Yankee tradition of producing home grown sweeteners from local maple trees. The celebration will allow people to both observe and take part in the maple syrup production process, from tapping a tree to checking out the finishing and bottling of the final product.

Participants will also be able to visit a working sugar house, assist with sap gathering, and taste the homemade syrup on pancakes and “sugar on snow.” In addition, there will be demonstrations of old-time evaporating methods, dating back to the pre-colonial era, as well as maple sugaring exhibits, videos, and more.

March is traditionally the busiest time of year for New England syrup producers. As the days start to get warmer, sugar-rich sap begins to flow upward from its winter storage in the roots of trees to the twigs and buds. This sap has been harvested for generations to produce the region’s maple products. Sugaring has taken place in Hopkins Forest since the mid-80s when Williams College students built a sugar house in an existing maple grove.

Hopkins Forest, which is owned and operated by Williams College, is located at the intersection of Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road in Williamstown.

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