Continuing The Tradition: The Beaver County Maple Syrup Festival

March 2012

Mention maple syrup to me, and [if I’m not already eating a mouthful of maple saturated pancake] I will more than likely tell you about The Beaver County Maple Syrup Festival in Western Pennsylvania.  I first went as a college student in celebration of one of my best friend’s birthdays. Said best friend [in black hood below] hails from Ecuador, and as her self-proclaimed ambassadors, we thought she needed to experience middle-of-nowhere America…

THEN

[I knew we were dorky, but that photo….wow!  Can you even see me under all that pixelated pink?]

NOW

It’s difficult to explain fully the oddity that is the Maple Syrup Festival, but somehow I managed to convince a rat pack to join me in all the odd glory last year.  The maple syrup festival and I were reunited at long last, and it was every bit as surreal and special as I had remembered. This year, I was really excited to share that surreal oddity with my special one (and a brief overlap with that crazy girl pictured above… oh how time has passed!).

Thus, on a sunny Sunday morn, Monsieur Miniature navigated us from Pittsburgh to Brady’s Run Park.

This signs begs the question… are illegal drugs permitted elsewhere in the park?

Expect to wait.  By this point in the queue, we had already waited patiently for at least 45 minutes!  Waiting in line, however, is more than half the fun because that’s the prime people watching opportunity!

Has no one ever told the troop leaders their faithful followers look a bit like little commies?

This little dude had so many looks, and ALL of them were cool.  He’ll be so misunderstood when he hits first grade.

Alright Twin Peaks fans… who does the Canadian tux (above) remind you of?  Give up? Maybe this guy??!?!  Oh the maple sweetened terror!!!

Waiting in line for the pancakes is a bit of a syrup safari!

After commies, potential supernatural killers, large game and much, much more, the line entered the belly of the maple syrup beast:  the barn!

They’re not messing around!  The Maple Syrup Festival is serious when it comes to pancake preparation and sausage distribution.  From there, a man in a bright, orange, hunting hat directed us to our table.  Upon finishing a plate of pancakes, all one had to do was flag down a faithful boyscout for a refill, but be warned!  Pancakes are quite filling! Take heed!

I stuck to the buckwheat pancakes for my own plate (always an appreciative supporter of the whole grain option), but for the first time in my three years of festival attendance, I snatched a bite or two of the buttermilk option.  A pillowy cloud it was!  A pillowy cloud!

Don’t eat that butter.  It’s not butter, and those pancakes deserve real butter!

As if that were it!  Beyond people watching, pancakes and endless coffee, there’s an entire park for the exploring….

Observe the maple tapping process in action…

Witness teepee living…?!?!?

Marvel at Civil War kitchen utensils…

Take a glimpse into history…

…and remember the importance of preventing forest fires!  All in one place!

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