PLYMOUTH – Area residents and visitors gathered on a foggy, Saturday morning to celebrate a New England pastime, the tapping of sugar maples and the creation of maple syrup.
The Plymouth Maple Festival returned to Plymouth Green with scavenger hunts and all manner of maple-sugared items. The event was first started in 2014 as part of a partnership with the Plymouth Historical Society and the Plymouth Congregational Church.
“Jerry Milne tries to teach people about how the whole maple syrup process works,” said Ray Dupont, church member on the fellowship committee. “In the church, we try to feed people so we have a bake sale but everything has to be made with maple. We had to cancel in the past year because of covid, but we’ve had so many people come out to (the festival) over the years.”
Dupont noted the event has always been popular with families.
Milne is credited with being one of the chief individuals who kicked off the festival. During much of the festival, he demonstrated the maple boiling process and explained the creation of various treats connected with sugar maple sap.
“We have sugar maples on the Plymouth Green and it’s historic and dates back to 1747,” said Milne. “It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and we thought it would be a fun community event. Maple sugaring is a New England tradition.”
Milne said he makes between five to seven gallons of maple syrup at his house as a hobby yearly.
“We tap some of the sugar maples on the green and we also brought some syrup from home and some sap and we’re boiling that on an open fire so people can see how it works,” he continued. “We’ve different grades of syrup and people can sample.”
Milne demonstrated the creation of “Sugar on Snow,” a process where maple syrup is boiled and then poured over snow which is then spread onto a sheet. It then turns into a taffy which can be twirled for consumption.
“It's a New England and Canadian tradition but it’s really tricky,” he said.
Eric Milne and David Betters assisted Jerry Milne through the demonstrations.
Russ Osborn said it was he and his family’s first time coming to the event. “It’s all positive and nice being here,” he said.
Peggy Osborn said the family had been looking for a maple syrup-making event and the festival stood out to them in a local broadcast announcement. “I love the music and it’s nice for the little ones to experience something like that,” she said.
Young Avery with the Osborns took part in some of the offered maple goods.
“I’m a big fan of history so it’s really interesting to me,” she said of the syrup making process.
Down Home Frolic offered some of its fiddling, banjo-playing and folk tune talents throughout the event for listening visitors.