A day in the 1800s: Westfield’s Maple Syrup Festival

A day in the 1800s: Westfield’s Maple Syrup Festival

Westfield’s Maple Syrup Festival in Rockton

Despite Sunday being a bit brisker than the warm February and March days we’ve been having in Hamilton, many people still came out to Westfield Heritage Village for the Maple Syrup Festival in Rockton, Ontario. The annual festival is designed to celebrate one of Canada’s tastiest and time-honoured traditions. People can observe the methods of making maple syrup during the 1800s as well as the modern methods we’re used to today.

Event highlights:

Horse drawn carriage rides – Many people went on a horse drawn carriage ride around the village. This was a great way to see the whole entire village, the buildings and the abundance of trees used for making maple syrup.

The Sugar Shack – Okay, the name of this place just pushes you to walk in. Once you’re in the shack you won’t want to leave – you’ll hear about the different consistencies of maple syrup, how they differ and even get to try some. Yum, all you need now are some pancakes, am I right (hot breakfast – including pancakes – can be bought in the village)?

The General Store – If you’re still in need for a sweet treat, the General Store is the place to go! Inside there is a wide variety of candies and sweets to purchase. Just what was needed on the cold afternoon.

How to make maple syrup – There isn’t a better way to learn about something than around a warm and toasty fire, and this is exactly how Westfield Heritage Village walks guests through the process of making maple syrup. Workers explain in a step-by-step manner how people in the 1800s made maple syrup, (fun fact, did you know that almost 95% of the sap that comes from a tree is water and the rest is sugar?) and compared it to the changes in technology and how the process is different today.

Log sawing – This may sound intimidating, but it isn’t as scary as it seems (although it looked pretty tiring). This activity is newer, within the last couple of years, but visitors can use a two-man crosscut saw to cut a piece of wood from a log to take to the blacksmith shop to get it marked with a Westfield W. A great souvenir!

Westfield is open year-round but the Maple Syrup Festival only runs 10a.m. to 4p.m. on Sundays (March 12, 19 and 26) as well as Wednesday March. 15 and Thursday March. 16 during the March break.

It is a great way to spend time with family and friends while learning a little bit about Canada’s traditions and history.

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