Syrup Production, Signature Events Mark Maple Season in Vermont
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The 2017 maple season is underway and off to a promising start in Vermont. Vermont is the nation’s leading producer of maple syrup and is once again hoping for a robust spring for its sugar makers.
Both Vermont and the United States set records in 2016 for their annual production of maple syrup.
Last year, Vermont produced almost 2 million gallons of maple syrup, the most it ever yielded, and 47 percent (almost half) of all syrup produced in the United States. That’s enough syrup to generously cover more than 250 million pancakes, waffles or slices of French toast. In terms of revenues, that productivity accounted for more than $350 million in total sales for the state’s economy. Additionally, the maple industry supports more than 3,000 full-time jobs across Vermont.
“As Vermont works to attract more businesses and grow its workforce, maple syrup producers continue to provide a time-tested blueprint for economic success in our state,” said Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Michael Schirling. “For generations, Vermont sugarhouses and farms have proven that ingenuity and innovation keep Vermont sugar makers at the forefront of nationwide production.”
As a vital economic driver, Vermont’s maple season also plays a significant role in role in attracting spring tourists. Alongside Vermont’s high-profile ski industry, maple-themed events attract thousands of visitors during the spring months.
The biggest maple event of the spring is Maple Open House Weekend, taking place at dozens of sugarhouses and farms across the state on March 25 & 26. Signature events and products associated with Maple Open House Weekend include tours of sugarhouses, maple syrup and maple specialty goods to purchase, delicious sugar-on-snow and venue-specific attractions, including pancake breakfasts, horse-drawn sleigh rides and live music.
“Vermont’s maple industry plays a critical role in our state’s tourism product,” said Vermont Deputy Commissioner of Tourism & Marketing Steven Cook. “Maple is one of the key ingredients that makes up the Vermont brand and sets Vermont apart from other destinations.”
Another top maple season event is the Vermont Maple Festival, held April 28-30 in St. Albans. Now in its 51st year, last year’s Vermont Maple Festival attracted a record crowd estimated at 40,000 people. Also on April 29 is the St. Johnsbury World Maple Festival in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Highlights include a pancake breakfast, 5K run and street festival featuring dozens of craft and food vendors.