Tree-Tapping and Pancakes at the Maple Syrup Festival

Stock image: Creative commonsWarm comfort food is the best way to get through cold winter days, and nothing quite hits the spot like a stack of pancakes. To help warm everyone up, and to celebrate the season of syrup-making, the Touch of Nature Environmental Center in Carbondale is holding a Maple Syrup Festival and Pancake Breakfast, with syrup homemade right out of the tree.


JD Tanner, director at Touch of Nature Center says the festival is a big draw for locals looking for some fun, “This is a signature event in Carbondale . . . Everyone’s in a winter funk, this gives people something to do.”

The festival allows the public to watch the syrup-making process. Several trees in the area are tapped, with buckets collecting the sap that oozes out. The syrup is then made in large boilers on site, from there it’s poured right onto pancakes. “You can obviously taste the difference from store-bought,” JD says, “Our trees had high sugar levels this year so the syrup will be really sweet.”

After taking their fill of the freshly-harvested syrup patrons can enjoy the rest of the festival, which includes several arts and crafts Staffers prepare homemade syrup, 2016vendors, blacksmithing, educational programs, and activities for kids. You can even learn how to identify trees and make your own syrup at home.

“It’s something different. In a small town it’s nice to find something unique, and even show people how to do it at home.”

The Maple Syrup Festival will be held, “rain, sleet, snow, or shine.” The dates are February 27 and 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For a table at the pancake breakfast you must register in advance. Cost is $12. Click here to learn more about the festival.

1206 Touch of Nature Rd., Makanda, IL


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