Maple Festival Comes To Chelsea on March 21, 2015
The Big 400 Maple Syrup Festival Brings Pancake Breakfasts, McLennan Maple Syrup Tours, Maple Wine Launches, and Expert Guided Outdoor Walks and Maple Syrup Demonstrations
It’s almost spring in Michigan so that means it’s time to celebrate this year’s bounty of maple syrup that is sure to pour its way from local trees to your pancakes soon enough! Michigan ranks 6th in maple syrup production in the United States and our region is no exception. The festival started in 2012 and has been a hit! Some of the ChelseaMich highlights of the festival include a pancake breakfast at the American Legion and guided tours and maple syrup and tree tapping demonstrations at The Discovery Center. Come celebrate with The Big 400 in March of every year!
Maple Festival Pancake Breakfasts
You can get your maple syrup fix at one of the Pancake Breakfast locations (there have been three in the past) on Saturday morning. Proceeds from the breakfasts go to support The Big 400 in guiding tourists to our region.
Breakfast Locations Normally Include:
- American Legion Post 31 (Chelsea, MI) – Family friendly and located on Cavanaugh Lake. Past breakfast selection has included pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, or coffee with real maple syrup. Normal Cost: $6 per person. 1700 Ridge Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118, 734.475.3170
- McLennan Maple Syrup (Manchester, MI) - Past breakfast selection has included pancakes with sides of sausage for an additional charge.
Normal Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children. 10950 M-52, Manchester, MI 48158, 734.428.7005
- Hell’s Kitchen (Hell, MI) - Head into Hell for pancakes, sausage, coffee, Milk, OJ. Past price has been a mere $6. The Pinckney Recreation Area, near Hell Michigan has hosted one-hour trail hikes in the past. These are guided by a DNR Interpreter and Ranger.
Normal Cost: $6 per person. 4025 Patterson Lake Road. Hell, MI 48169, 734.648-0456
- Hudson Mills Metropark (Dexter, MI) – Past breakfasts have included an all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage, with real maple syrup, served at the Activity Center on the days the tours are offered. (See the calendar or below for tour info).
Normal Cost: $3.50 per child/$5.50 per adult.
Maple Tours & Demonstrations-
Want to learn a little more about how and why trees make sap that is later turned into maple syrup and ends up on your pancakes? Or maybe you want to learn how to tap trees and make syrup at home? Take a tour and hear it from the experts.
- Eddy Discovery Center (Chelsea, MI) – It’s time for that traditional rite of spring, tapping maple trees. Observe demonstrations of the whole process of making maple syrup from collection the sap to the evaporation process. A film will show visitors the old-time methods used to make maple syrup. Maple products will be available for purchase.
Normal Cost: $2 per person or $5 per family. 17030 Bush Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118, 734.475.3170
- McLennan Maple Syrup, tours (Manchester, MI) - take a look at the sugar shack process, handle tools and supplies, learn about tapping the trees, and take part in maple-related activities such as coloring and crafts. Maple candy and ice cream with syrup are available for purchase. 10950 M-52, Manchester, MI 48158, 734.428.7005
- Hudson Mills Metropark (Dexter, MI) – Learn how to tap trees and make your own Syrup, also all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage, with real maple syrup, have been served at the Activity Center on the mornings that tours are offered. Reservations required for the guided tour.
Normal Guided Tour Cost: $3 per person. For more information/reservations, call Hudson Mills Metropark at 734-426-8211 or 800-477-3191.
Maple Wine Release & Café
Sandhill Crane Vineyards (Chelsea/Grass Lake Area)
A highlight to past Maple Festivals is the release of the vintage of Sugar Snow, Sandhill Crane Vineyards’ limited edition dessert wine made with local maple sap and syrup. Light and not too sweet, Sugar Snow pairs beautifully with light desserts, sweet cheeses, and the winery’s famous Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies. On Saturday and Sunday the winery’s new café will feature all sorts of sweet and savory dishes made with maple, including Sugar Snow Sorbet, a light, refreshing sorbet made with their wine by Zingerman’s Creamery. The winery will feature live music on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Maple products (such as syrup and maple cream) will be available for purchase. Free admission.
Taste of The Irish Hills
Travel through the Brooklyn-Irish Hills to area restaurants and taste their specialties! Tickets are available from the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce.
Normal Cost: $15, and has cover tasting at 20 different establishments. www.irishhills.com, 517.592.8907