Vergas to hold Maple Syrup Festival
There are few things better than a community that comes together in celebration of the sweet things in life — like pure maple syrup.
The tiny town of Vergas is getting ready for a one-day swell of visitors and residents that always seem to come out of the woodwork when the maple syrup is flowing.
The 14th annual Maple Syrup Festival is coming up Saturday, April 12, with the action kicking off in true syrup style — a pancake feed.
Volunteers from the community ascend upon the Vergas Community Center to serve up a breakfast consisting of pancakes, real maple syrup, sausage, juice and coffee.
Adults are $8; children 12 and under are $4. The feed goes from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
New to the event this year are $2 maple syrup shakes at the Event Center, as well as some seeds for the future of the fest to be handed out at the breakfast.
“The Community Club has purchased some sapling trees so that families can take those home,” said Sherri Hanson, who is helping to coordinate the event.
Hanson says last year over 1,000 people came out for what she calls a nice kick off to nicer weather.
“I think people like coming out to this because everyone is so tired of being cooped up and want to be out and do things,” said Hanson, who says local businesses in Vergas will be open and ready for visitors.
“They’ll be having different specials and will be selling bottles of real maple syrup made from the surrounding community,” said Hanson, who says the club works hand-in-hand with employees at Maplewood State Park.
“Not only do we get a lot of volunteers from there helping us, but the trees out there are tapped, so people can just drive out there at any point and watch a demonstration on how they do the maple syrup,” said Hanson, who adds that employees at the main office of the park will be able to point visitors in the right direction to see the action.
There will also be a 5K Run/Walk, which starts and ends at Billy’s Bar.
The run, which is aptly named “Saps Running,” is one of the area’s earliest running events of the season and last year brought out 120 runners. Registration starts at 8 a.m., with the run beginning at 9.
The cost is $25 the morning of the event or $20 if pre-registered. The form for that can be found on the city’s website. There will also be a children’s egg hunt at the Vergas Assisted Living from 11 a.m. to noon.
“And that’s always fun for the kids — they fill up hundreds and hundreds of eggs and give extra tokens for prizes,” said Hanson.
Money raised from the Maple Syrup Festival goes to the Vergas Community Club, which takes charge of beautification around the picturesque little town.
“We have these mammoth planters that we get planted every year around town,” said Hanson, who says there are a couple of other projects the club is eyeballing as well.
“We’d like to get some decorative street lights up and some garden benches, as well as working on extending our walking path,” said Hanson, who says right now that path goes from uptown Vergas to Long Lake Park.
“But we want to extend it to Highway 228,” she said.
Local artist Patrick Shannon of Forest Edge Gallery in Vergas will be raffling off one of his pieces to help raise money for that trail extension during the festival. Tickets are $2 each.
For more information on the festival, call 218-342-2091.