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March 17, 2015

Visitors watch maple syrup being boiled in a kettle.Visitors watch maple syrup being boiled in a kettle.
[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: this news release has been updated to indicate the Friends of MacKenzie pancake breakfast at the festival is not all you can eat. We regret the error.]

POYNETTE, Wis. - People can see demonstrations of how to tap a maple tree for sap and how to make syrup, and take guided tours of the sugar bush at the MacKenzie Center's annual Maple Syrup Festival on April 4.

The festival also includes interpretative talks about how Native Americans and pioneers made maple sugar and syrup compared to the current methods used in at the MacKenzie sugar bush. This year representatives from the Ho-Chunk Nation will attend to share their maple syrup traditions.

The festival runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MacKenzie Center near Poynette. Maple Syrup Festival is hosted by the Friends of MacKenzie and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

"This is a great way to celebrate the beginning of spring," said Ruth Ann Lee, educator at the MacKenzie Center. "It is a wonderful event to learn about the sugar maple tree and the unique process of making maple syrup in our Wisconsin climate."

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 the 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 people aged 3 through 11. Refreshments, maple products, and souvenirs will be sold by the Friends of MacKenzie. The Friends will also draw the winners for their 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,, for keyword "MacKenzie."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth Ann Lee or Chrystal Seeley-Schreck at 608-635-8112

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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