Thursday, December 20, 2007

Maple Syrup Festival Offers Sweet Experiences for Mansfield Visitors

The annual Maple Syrup Festival is slated to take place once again at Mansfield’s Malabar Farm State Park on March 1-2 and 8-9, 2008 from noon-4:00 p.m. daily. The free festival is a great opportunity for families and friends to step back in time, learn, and enjoy the history of Ohio syrup making at the legendary Malabar Farm State Park. With added interest in culinary tourism and the slow food movement, this year’s Maple Syrup Festival is expected to be more popular than ever.

The festival features demonstrations of sugaring techniques from the early days when Ohio was home to Native Americans, through present day. A self-guided tour of the sugar camp and sugarhouse reveals the evolution of sugaring equipment and how maple sap is transformed into maple syrup. Visitors will explore the summer bell house, behind the Pugh Log Cabin, which is set up as an authentic pioneer cabin. Here both children and adults can take part in daily pioneer chores like washing clothes, tending fire, candle making and cooking. Guests will also enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides to the sugar camp, provided by the Central Ohio Draft Horse Association.

Free samples of maple syrup will be available at the sugar house. Pure Ohio maple syrup, homemade maple walnut fudge, maple cotton candy, maple popcorn and other maple products will be on sale during the event and in the Malabar Farm Gift Shop throughout the season. Live musical entertainment and light refreshments and snacks will be offered in the Pugh Log Cabin located nearby.

Originally built in the early 1940s as a demonstration farm for progressive conservation practices by world-renowned novelist and conservationist Louis Bromfield, Malabar Farm’s historic 32-room mansion will be open for guided tours from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. both days. Malabar Farm Restaurant will be open Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. throughout March. The Malabar Farm Restaurant, under new management, will offer brunch and dinner specials featuring Malabar Farm products and maple syrup. A children’s menu is also available.

In addition to Malabar Farm State Park, Mansfield, Ohio offers a wealth of other unusual travel adventures, including everything from overnight ghost hunts in a haunted former state prison to a museum that houses the world’s first robot. A destination unlike any other, the area’s world-class motorsports, breathtaking scenery and rural and home-town experiences are complimented by hiking, biking, golf, cross-country and downhill skiing, bird watching and loads more unique adventures. Details on incredibly affordable lodging and Road Trip getaway packages, complete area travel information and a free Visitors Guide are available at (800) 642-8282 or

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