January 26, 2017

Maple syrup festival, pancake breakfast set for Feb. 25-26

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The popular annual Maple Syrup Festival and Pancake Breakfast returns to Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center Feb. 25 and 26.

The event will feature demonstrations, live music, vendors, activities for all ages, and of course, pancakes topped with homemade maple syrup. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road. It’s a family friendly event and everyone is welcome.

Tree identification hikes are set for 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., with maple syrup demonstrations planned at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Addison DeLisle, art and design research assistant and master’s student, along with other graduate students, will show how blacksmithing is done, and the SIU Forestry Club will present lumberjack competition activities. Skilled craftsmen will demonstrate hide tanning, woodworking, pottery making, basket weaving, silk embroidery and the making of natural soaps, candles, herbal products and more. There will be special activities for children too. Those providing musical entertainment include The Mystic Shrines, Kindred Moon and Jensen Waugh.

There is no cost for the festival, but to enjoy the homemade pancakes and maple syrup, created from sap harvested at Touch of Nature, participants must purchase tickets. The pancake breakfast is served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day and tickets purchased in advance by 2 p.m. on Feb. 24 are $12 for ages 13 and older or $6 for ages 6-12. At the door, tickets are $15 for ages 13 and older or $8 for ages 6-12. Children age five and younger eat free.

Find additional information or purchase pancake breakfast tickets online at http://ton/siuedu/events/maple-syrup-festival.php. You can also learn more by calling 618/453-1121 or by emailing tonec@siu.edu