Last year, the Maine Maple Producers Association and its members were forced to postpone the industry’s largest event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One year later, association members are prepared to host Maine Maple Sunday® at sugar houses across the state the weekend of March 27-28. Participating sugar houses are taking steps to follow Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and prepare their facilities and staff to welcome guests safely on site.
“This event is critical to the success of many family businesses and producers in Maine. The 38th annual event will certainly look and feel a bit different due to the pandemic, but we’re ready. We have found creative ways to celebrate the event in different ways. Since each sugar house is unique in size and capacity, producers are adjusting their hours and purchase options, including curbside pick-up and online ordering. It is important for visitors to plan ahead by checking mainemapleproducers.com or calling your local producers about their plans for the event,” said Scott Dunn, president of the Maine Maple Producers Association.
Maine Maple Sunday Weekend® attracts thousands of visitors annually to sugar shacks throughout the state. In previous years, more than 100 sugarhouses have participated from Aroostook County to York County.
“Even though maple syrup is made in the spring, we want people to know it is available year-round. Maine Maple Sunday Weekend® is a popular event for our industry, but we also want to remind people they can always contact their favorite sugar house any time of year to purchase syrup and other maple treats,” Dunn said.
The Maine Maple Producers Association represents more than 250 of the 450 producers licensed to sell maple products in Maine. Producers range from small artisan producers to bulk syrup providers that serve major grocery store chains, foodservice distributors, retailers and international markets. Many producers have product for sale direct to consumers throughout the year.
The state makes more than 575,000 gallons of syrup annually, generating more than $27 million for the Maine economy and supporting more than 560 full-time and part-time jobs that generate more than $17.3 million in wages.