Contact(s): Christopher Tall, 608-635-8105
POYNETTE, Wis. - Free guided tours of the sugar bush, demonstrations of how to tap a maple tree for sap and how to boil the sap down in the "sugar shack" to make syrup are among the fun-filled activities planned at the annual Maple Syrup Festival at the MacKenzie Center near Poynette. The educational event for families will be held Saturday, April 1 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
The festival also features interpretative talks about how some Native Americans and pioneers made maple sugar and syrup as well as current methods used in the MacKenzie sugar bush.
Participants will have the opportunity to watch home-made ice cream being churned with an antique engine; listen to live, old-time, country music; and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. In addition, the wildlife area, which includes animals native to Wisconsin, and the historic exhibits on property will be open.
A pancake breakfast, sponsored by Friends of MacKenzie will be served from 8 a.m. until noon at the Main Lodge. The cost is $7 for those 12 years old and older, and $5 for ages 3 through 11. Refreshments, maple products, and souvenirs will be sold by the Friends of MacKenzie. The Friends will also have a quilt raffle at noon.
The MacKenzie Center is located 2 miles east of Poynette on County Road CS/Q. For more information search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "MacKenzie." Maple Syrup Festival is hosted by the Friends of MacKenzie [www.friendsofmackenzie.org - exit DNR] and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.