We are all familiar with the main events at the CNY Maple Festival; pancake eating contest, maple museum tours, the Maple Queen Parade, wagon rides, talent show, helicopter flights and Sugar Shack demos. As wonderful as that all is, the Maple Fest is full of oft-overlooked gems. Let this Marathon local dish out the insider scoop. Below is a list of 5 not to be missed Maple Fest favorites.
Maple Cream Elephant Ears This will always be number one in my book, year after year! You've never had elephant ears like this before. Piping hot, smothered in fresh maple cream and sprinkled with chopped nuts, I promise you it's worth getting out of bed early for. Confession, you will most likely find me at the stand, snow or shine, at 9 a.m. sharp (with some serious bedhead) because a breakfast this good only comes once a year. It's best enjoyed with a piping hot cup of maple coffee, so decadent it doesn't even require cream or sugar.
Maple Milkshakes Wondering what everyone is sipping from red solo cups at the festival? It's a crowd favorite, a homemade maple milkshake! Sweet, creamy and guaranteed to hit the spot, you can find the kids serving up this annual tradition at the civic center building. Not to be missed, it's perfect paired with a pulled pork maple sandwich!
Maple Mobile Races The old fashion box cart races are a real hoot! Kids spend months working on their box cart creations, and there is no shortage of clever ideas and fun interpretations. The Maple Mobile Races take place on Saturday and are located behind the NBT Bank. Pick a favorite or cheer them all on. It's a barrel of laughs not to be missed. Want to feel the sensation of the wind whipping through your hair? Head down to the river for an airboat ride. It's sure to get your heart racing!
The Peck Memorial Library Booksale Twice a year, the Peck Memorial Library opens the doors to its historic opera house for a used book sale. Row after row, under the ornate original ceilings, lies every book and genre you could imagine. Bring a bag and fill it to the brim for only $5. You can't even get a happy meal for that price these days! Not a reader? It's worth visiting just to gaze at the incredible stained glass windows and unique architecture. It's not every day you get to wander around an old opera house!
Arts & Crafts Fair This show is incredible! With over 60 vendors, it boasts everything from fine art to homemade jams. Artisans fill the high school and the civic center with all manner of jewelry, woodworking, leather goods, fiber arts, homemade soaps, teas and pottery. The selection is endless. While you're there, be sure to grab a bag of fresh roasted maple nuts.
Where & When The best thing about the CNY Maple Festival? There are no entry or parking fees! All demonstrations are free! So, bring the kids and grandma too. Park at the Marathon Elementary School and take a complimentary shuttle right into the heart of the festival. Oh, and don't forget to save a little room for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, and just maybe, I'll see you there.
This year's CNY Maple Festival is on April 15 & 16, in downtown Marathon NY. Click here for more info.
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