February 07, 2013

Maple Festival, pancake breakfast is Feb. 23-24

by Nathan Maul

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Maple Festival 2013, one of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s most popular annual traditions, is coming to the Touch of Nature Environmental Center Feb. 23 and 24.

Each session is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Participants in this family-friendly event will learn about how nature can meet their needs.  They will discover how to tap the region’s own maple trees to gather the sap and use it to make homemade maple syrup.  They will also learn about the history of the process, from Native American days to the area’s early settlers.

In addition, those in attendance will enjoy a pancake breakfast featuring homemade maple syrup.  Serving wraps up at 11 a.m., and demonstrations continue until 1 p.m.  But that’s not the end of the unique experience.  Visitors will enjoy additional activities and demonstrations including buckskin makers, blacksmiths, local rescue animals and other interactive sessions until 5 p.m.  

“This event empowers people to learn how to provide for themselves and for their family,” event promoter Lindsay Edmonds said.  “People are becoming more and more interested in being self-sufficient and making something from nature that they harvested themselves.”

Organizers encourage pre-registration for the event by 4 p.m. Feb. 22 with reduced prices for those who sign up early. Tickets are $15 for ages 14 and older and $8 for ages 6-13 for those who sign up by Feb. 22.  Tickets are $18 and $10 at the door. Children under five are free.

To register, call 618/453-1121.  For more information, call or visit the website at www.ton.siu.edu