Sweet results for Fleischmanns Maple Fest
By Pauline Liu
Fleischmanns’ three-day celebration of the region’s maple syrup producing tradition was a deliciously sweet experience for those who participated. It was the first maple festival in the village to be sponsored by the group, Fleischmanns First. The fund-raising event raised more than $1,500 for the organization.
The festival kicked-off last Friday afternoon with the crowning of the Maple Princesses. Each of the six girls who participated took home a crown
On Saturday, the festival heated up as the Fleischmanns Fire Department grilled maple glazed barbecue chicken at lunchtime. The event sold out with 150 chicken halves sold.
Some local businesses also joined the maple mania. Kim and Keith O’Brien of The Tinderbox at 1130 Main Street demonstrated their pellet grill by making a maple-glazed ham on it. When the ham was done, they handed out samples. “We were pleased with the response,” said Kim. The heating business, which endured flood damage and loss of inventory from Tropical Storm Irene, has recovered. So the O’Briens felt they had plenty of reasons to join the weekend celebration.
After the main course came dessert. Judging for the maple bake-off contest took place at 1043 Main Street. The recently renovated building was transformed into the “Maple Bake-off Cafe” for the day. According to Michelle Sidrane, who was chair of the Fleischmanns First Maple Festival Weekend, the event drew about 100 participants. There were 16 mouthwatering maple-themed entries submitted from local contestants. “I love to bake and it came out pretty good,” said Marge Helenchild of Margaretville, who made up her own recipe to create Maple Walnut Whoopee Pies. Georgette Beneat topped her French cake, Gateau Breton, with maple frosting.
The winners of the four categories of baking were Emily Rudolph for Tradition, Lori Dobil for Organic, and Kathleen Rostad and her daughter, Naimh, took home ribbons for the remaining two categories, Intergenerational and Gluten Free. Judges were Devin Mills of the Peekamoose Restaurant and Tap Room and Peg DiBenedetto and Peg Ellsworth of the MARK Project. After the judging, the baked goods were auctioned off.
For those who couldn’t get their fill of maple, there was more to eat on Sunday morning as the Fleischmanns Community Church hosted a pancake breakfast. Sidrane feels the activities “were galvanizing the community in a positive way.”