VERONA — They came by the carload — people with a hankering for the sweet, smoky taste of pure maple syrup — to the first of two Maple Weekends hosted by the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Future Farmers of America.
On Saturday and again on Sunday, students in the VVS-FFA served up pancakes with plenty of maple syrup flowing as well as a host of other maple products; provided free wagon tours of their freshly tapped maple sugarbush as well as their saphouse where the sweet sticky maple sap is boiled down into luxurious maple syrup.
Maple Weekend, held at VVS High School, 5275 State Route 31, is part of “a statewide event devoted to the recognition of the New York State Maple Industry,” according to an announcement from the VVS-FFA, which encourages people to “come discover...the pure taste of maple.”
For those who may have missed last weekend’s event, don’t fret.
While hundreds of visitors may have made a dent in the FFA’s maple syrup supply there is plenty of syrup (and other goodies) available for this coming weekend, March 24-25, the second — and final — Maple Weekend of the month.
Maple Weekend begins with a traditional pancake breakfast — featuring student made maple syrup — at 7:30 a.m. each day.
The admission price for the breakfast is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and children 12 years and under.
Students will give tours of the FFA’s maple house and syrup production facilities from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be free wagon rides to the maple sugarbush, where students tap maple trees for the sap that is eventually boiled down into the sweet syrup.
The festivities will also include free wagon rides and cooking presentations.
Also on Sunday, March 25, the official New York Maple Sunday Syrup season begins, and at 11:15 a.m. the winners of the maple coloring contest award will be announced.
For information about the VVS Maple Weekend or its award-winning FFA chapter, go online to www.vvsschools.org.