COBLESKILL, N.Y. -- The sap is gathered. The boiling is done.
Now it’s time to taste and experience the tradition of Schoharie County’s first and sweetest crop, maple syrup.
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the county’s Maple Festival that takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
This year’s 50th anniversary has invited all the Maple Royalty -- individuals who have represented the Schoharie County Maple producers as the Maple Queen or King or Princess or Prince -- to be part of the festivities when new royalty is crowned at 2 p.m. Many are expected to be in attendance.
Another highlight is the Maple Festival Parade. Everyone is invited to participate and the lineup starts at 11 a.m. on Cobleskill’s Legion Drive and goes through the town on its way to the fairgrounds. At the Fairgrounds, the characters from Disney’s “Frozen” will meet and greet guests after they march in the parade.
Throughout the day, the festival features entertainment including the Irish dance of the Iona Dance Troupe, Studio North Dance Company of Sharon Springs, the music of Matt Evans and the acting of the Theater Project of Schoharie County that will present Cirque de Silly.
At Schoharie County’s Maple Festival visitors can eat jackwax -- a chewy confection that results when boiled maple syrup is poured over crushed ice. There’s an all day maple breakfast, along with maple candies, maple demonstrations, crafts and lots of food including a chicken barbecue.
Earlier in the day -- from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. -- baked goods are accepted at the fairgrounds for the annual baking contest. There are two divisions -- Adult (ages 14 and up) and Junior (ages 13 years and younger). And there are three categories: cupcakes, cakes and muffins; cookies bars and scones; and pies and cheesecakes. Of course, all entries must be made with real maple syrup.
Schoharie County’s Maple Festival has its roots in the county’s Village of Jefferson where it began on the village green. The green was established in 1817 and had 120 maple trees around it. Jefferson is home to The Maple Museum, a classic Greek Revival building completed in 1837, that was renamed in the 1960s in recognition of the town’s maple sugaring industry and its Maple Festival.
The 2015 Schoharie County Maple Festival is sponsored by Cobleskill Stone Products, Kintz Plastics Inc., Stewart's Shops, Sterling Insurance Co. and many other local sponsors.