AUGUSTA — To kick off the state’s annual celebration of pure Maine maple syrup and the Maine people who produce it, Governor Janet Mills and Maine Maple Producers Association President Scott Dunn will tap the Blaine House Maple Tree on Friday, March 11 ahead of this year’s Maine Maple Sunday Weekend.
“Maine Maple Sunday Weekend is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the world class products – and people – that make Maine unique. Our iconic maple syrup industry supports thousands of jobs, strengthens our economy, and sets us apart nationwide,” said Governor Mills. “I am looking forward to tapping our maple tree at the Blaine House and to visiting sugarhouses at farms across the State of Maine on Maple Sunday Weekend.”
“One of the benefits of maple syrup in Maine is that we have a diverse climate – colder in the north and warming up in the south – along with mineral enriched soils,” said Scott Dunn, Maine Maple Producer Association President. “This leads to unique syrup flavors, depending on the sugarbush you visit.”
Maple syrup producers nationwide grappled with price drops, event cancellations, and restaurant closures during the pandemic. To support Maine’s maple syrup producers, Governor Mills dedicated federal coronavirus relief funds to Maine’s maple producers through her Agriculture and Food Processing Infrastructure Reimbursement Program. Governor Mills also called on the USDA to designate maple syrup as an eligible Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) specialty crop. They agreed and made maple sap an eligible commodity for critical economic relief payments.
Maine’s Maple Sunday Weekend is March 26-27, 2022, at Maine Maple Producers Association sugar shacks around the state. Annually, maple syrup contributes an estimated $49 million in production value, over 800 full- and part-time jobs, and more than $25 million in labor income to Maine’s economy. Maine is the third-largest producer of maple syrup nationwide.
“Maple syrup season is just around the corner, which is a good reminder that spring is on its way, too,” said Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal. “Our maple sugaring families across the state make Maine Maple Sunday Weekend a delicious, fun, and educational event, and I hope everyone makes plans to visit some sugarhouses on March 26 and 27 to partake in the celebration and to support our producers.”
“Visiting sugar shacks is a Maine rite of passage,” said Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources Director Nancy McBrady. “Maine Maple Sunday Weekend is a perfect opportunity to support hardworking maple sugaring families and to enjoy this fun maple season celebration.”
Most sugarhouses offer maple syrup samples and demonstrations on how pure Maine maple syrup is made. Many farms offer games, activities, treats, and sugarbush tours.
Maine Maple Sunday Weekend Planning Tips:
- Each site is different – review schedules and hours of operation, types of complimentary or ticketed activities, samples, tours, shopping, etc.
- Dress for the weather and the season- changing temperatures, melting or accumulating spring snow, and mud puddles are common.
- Before you depart – check for schedule changes. Use local listings, webpages, social media, or call the business.
Resources to Find a Sugarhouse:
- Maine Maple Producers event listings and map
- Southern Maine Sugar makers Association listings
- Real Maine website: “Maple Sugaring in Maine”
–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry