MacKenzie Environmental Center Maple Syrup Festival

4-2-16

Mackenzie Center sign

Spring is here and we returned to MacKenzie to celebrate! It had been almost 4 years since our last visit and this event sounded like a lot of fun! Here is the itinerary of the day.

Maple Syrup Festival Events

We arrived at 9:30 and began with breakfast at the Lodge, the pancakes and ham were so delicious!  The real maple syrup really made it great!

Mackenzie Center Lodge

Mackenzie Lodge inside

During breakfast we got serenaded with some sugarin’ music by the Dark of the Moon Contra-Band.  Let’s listen in!

Dark of the Moon Contra-Band

After our delicious breakfast we went to the sugaring camp a short distance away.  Over 1000 people came to this event and about 700 had breakfast too.

The weather was rather interesting, it alternated between white out and sunshine, sometime both at the same time!

MacKenzie Sugaring Camp

Set up in the camp was a large portable Ho-Chunk Indian home called a Ciporoke, it was put to the test today with the high winds and it didn’t budge. It was constructed in January so it has stood most of the winter.

Ciporoke sign at MacKenzie

We went inside and learned more about it and saw some animal pelts and tools used by the Ho-Chunk.  A docent inside answered the questions from the many visitors, very interesting! Let’s listen in.

The views inside, tools and pelts on display.

Ciporoke inside at Mackenzie

Nearby were three large iron kettles boiling sap as they did in the late 19th century.  Another volunteer was showing the various products that can be made from sap.  Also a demo of carrying two buckets of sap using a yoke.

Iron Kettles Boiling Sap at Mackenzie

Carrying sap buckets

This part of the festival was real fun, eating ice cream topped with maple syrup made by an antique steam engine! Let’s see it in action!

Great ice cream too, cold and snow doesn’t stop Wisconsinites from enjoying that any time!

Vanilla Ice Cream and Syrup at Mackenzie

After our treat we visited the Maple Syrup finishing House, where larger quantities of sap were boiled than in the iron kettles. It was a wood-burning unit and it warmed the room nicely! On our first visit in 2012 was when we saw it cold.

Syrup Finishing House at Mackenzie

Syrup Finishing House at Mackenzie

Wallen Sugar House display at Mackenzie

Sap Tank at Mackenzie

Sap Tank at Mackenzie

We also learned pickles and syrup go well together, never know that!

Pickles and syrup

This was a real fun festival and we are so glad we were able to go this year!

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