Maple Festival Comes To Chelsea

The Big 400 Maple Syrup Festival Brings Pancake Breakfasts, McLennan Maple Syrup Tours, Maple Wine Launches, and Expert Guided Outdoor Walks to Town

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 is in its second year and sure to grow and grow. Some of the ChelseaMich highlights of the festival include a pancake breakfast at the American Legion and guided tours at The Discovery Center. Come celebrate with The Big 400 on Saturday March 9th and Sunday March 10th.

Maple Festival Pancake Breakfasts

Have a delicious maple syrup inspired Pancake Breakfast at one of three locations on Saturday morning, March 9. Proceeds from the breakfasts go to support The Big 400 in guiding tourists to our region.

  • American Legion Post 31, (Chelsea, MI) – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm – Bring your family and friends to the Legion Post on Cavanaugh Lake for a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, or coffee with real maple syrup. Cost: $6 per person. 1700 Ridge Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118, 734.475.3170
  • McLennan Maple Syrup (Manchester, MI) 9:00 am ? - For a pancake breakfast. Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children. Sides of sausage are available for an additional charge. 10950 M-52, Manchester, MI 48158, 734.428.7005
  • Hell’s Kitchen (Hell, MI), 8 – 11:00 - am Head into Hell for pancakes, sausage, coffee, Milk, OJ for a mere $6. Also, be sure to take advantage of a one-hour trail hike by a DNR Interpreter and Ranger at the Pinckney Recreation Area near Hell at 11:00 am. 4025 Patterson Lake Road. Hell, MI 48169, 734.648-0456

Maple Tours & Interpretation

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 on Sat, March 9 & Sun, March 10.

  • Eddy Discovery Center, (Chelsea, MI) – 10 am to 4 pm - 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. Cost: $2 per person or $5 per family. 17030 Bush Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118, 734.475.3170
  • McLennan Maple Syrup, tours (Manchester, MI) – Every two hours beginning at 9 am - 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) – 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon – Learn how to tap trees and make your own Syrup. All-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage, with real maple syrup, will be served at the Activity Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the days the tours are offered. Guided tour: $3 per person. Pancake breakfast: $3.50 per child/$5.50 per adult. Reservations required for the guided tour. 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) –  Sat, March 9 & Sun, March 10 -

A highlight of the Maple Festival is the release of the current 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

(March 9 & Sun, March 10)

Travel through the Brooklyn-Irish Hills to area restaurants and taste their specialties! Tickets are available from the Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce for only $15, and cover tasting at 20 different establishments., 517.592.8907


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