Westerville residents enjoy the annual Malabar Farm State Park Maple Syrup Festival

March 30, 2013 by  

Westerville, Ohio, residents who have a sweet tooth were able to indulge it at the start of this month.

On March 2 and 3, and again the weekend after, the Malabar Farm State Park Maple Syrup Festival provided visitors with the opportunity to sample real hand-crafted maple syrup, as well as maple sugar. The park is about an hour’s drive from Westerville.

Approximately 700 people attended the festival on the first day, a turnout program administrator Sybil Burskey said was lower than usual. She thought the cold might have kept some people away, adding that the forecast for the second weekend was for warmer weather that should increase attendance.

Horse-drawn wagons took visitors to the sugar shack, where they could take self-guided tours explaining the history of maple syrup processing, beginning with Native American methods, through pioneer days, and ending with modern techniques. Everyone who attended received a free sample of syrup.

Malabar Farms sells maple syrup throughout the entire year, but the festival brings people from throughout central Ohio who want to sample the farm’s first annual offerings. Burskey said she anticipated the Farm would make between 100 and 125 gallons this year.

Some people come to the festival to load up on syrup. In fact, the Farm nearly sold out of gallon and half-gallon bottles, leaving only smaller sizes for those who didn’t arrive early.

Since some people risked being disappointed, the Farm might consider working with flyer printing experts for future years to get a mailer out to potential attendees throughout the region, urging them to mark the dates on their calendar and arrive early.