iloveny-stack.jpgMaple Sugaring Season Officially Begins in New York State
NEW YORK, February 23, 2009 –New York State (www.iloveny.com) is offering a sweet and sticky treat for visitors in March as more than 110 maple producers across the State join together to offer the 14th Annual Maple Weekend (www.mapleweekend.com). New York is the second largest producer of maple syrup in the United States -- third largest worldwide -- and maple producers will host free open houses to demonstrate how maple syrup and other related products are made in this region. Maple Weekend events throughout the State run from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on March 21, 22, 28 and 29. In addition to boiling sap into maple syrup, sugarhouses will provide a variety of other activities and maple products will be available for sampling and purchase.According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York State’s approximately 1,500 maple syrup producers made more than 332,000 gallons of syrup in 2008, accounting for an estimated economic impact of $30 million.A sampling of Maple Weekend participants is listed below. For more information, and a complete list of participants, visit www.mapleweekend.com/locations. To plan a New York State getaway visit www.iloveny.com.Moore's Maple Shack & Pancake House - Freedom, NY The Moore family opens their Pancake House and sugar shack every March through the end of April. Their 5,600-tap maple operation is on tubing and man-made vacuum. Adjacent to the sugar shack, a pancake house serves all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes. On Maple Weekend, wagon rides to the sugar bush and sampling of maple cream, maple walnut brittle, maple nuts and other maple goodies will be available. For more information visit www.mooresmaple.com or call 716-492-3067. Cornell Cooperative Extenstion of St. Lawrence County - Canton, NY After relocating to the former SUNY Canton College Farm, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County began restoring the maple operation with support from the St. Lawrence County Maple Producers Association as an educational and demonstration facility. In its third season of restoration, this educational facility will show where maple syrup comes from and how it is made, on its way from forest to table. For more information call 315-379-9192. Randall's Maple Products - Alexander, NY Set in a picturesque location next to a pond, Eric and Eleanor Randall will offer tours of their sugarhouse, maple syrup making demonstrations and the chance to climb aboard an authentic, antique caboose. For more information visit www.randallsmaple.com or call 585-547-3596. Maple Glen Sugar House - Gowanda, NY Paul Lesefske's family welcomes visitors to their maple syrup production facility and new store. The sugarhouse tour consists of an oil-fired evaporator, reverse osmosis machine, filter press and a unique bottling machine. Visitors are encouraged to try the famous maple hotdogs boiled in maple sap. For more information visit www.mapleglensyrup.com or call 716-532-5483. Merle Maple Farm - Attica, NY The Merle family runs a 16,000-tap operation with a reverse osmosis sap concentrator, conventional evaporators and a steam away. Activities will include wagon rides to the sugar bush, demonstrations of portable band saw mill and tree tapping. A kids' corner will feature calf petting, crafts and tour of the sap house. Visitors can sample maple cotton candy, maple mustard, pepper jelly and pure maple syrup. For more information visit www.merlemaple.com or call 585-535-7136. For a comprehensive look into the world of American Maple Syrup: The American Maple Museum - Croghan, New York Exhibits depict the history of maple syrup and sugar making techniques ranging from those used by the Native Americans to plastic tubing and stainless steel evaporators in use today. Audio tapes explain many of the exhibits. The museum will be open March 28th and 29th from 7:00am to 4:00pm. Pancake Breakfast will be served from 7:00am to 12:00pm. Breakfast costs $7.00 per adult, $4.00 per child, children under 5 are free. A tour of the museum costs $4.00; audio tapes of the exhibits are available. For more information and museum hours call 315-346-1107 or visit www.lcida.org/maplemuseum.html About New York State New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information visit www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com.

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Contact:

Eric Scheffel

Empire State Development

(518) 292-5274

escheffel@empire.state.ny.us