by Andrea Kulesh
The Society joined in with Mayor West for his very first maple syrup festival as the Mayor on April 1, 2023. We have previously been involved for 3 years running pre-pandemic. Maple syrup was ordered from Carrick Bros. who generously donated all of the syrup for the pancake breakfast. Numbers were estimated for the event but no one really knew how many would come.
Estimations were made at 1,500 – 3,000 attendees. There were free pancakes and syrup and self serve coffee on hand. The tables were set up in front of the RHHS so we were in a great position to sell maple syrup to those who had just sampled the Carrick Bros. delicious maple syrup.
The doors opened at 10:00 a.m. and there were people literally running to get their pancakes! There were a lot of families and the plan had been for a lot of the children’s activities to be outside but unfortunately the weather didn’t fully cooperate. Although it was a sunny day, the wind prevented some of the activities planned to go ahead. Our member Marj Andre was “Ma Maple” demonstrating the old method of reducing the sap collected to make maple syrup. Unfortunately, the wind did stop some of the activities and they were brought inside. There was music ongoing, speeches for the official opening, lots and lots of vendors and a general and noisy hubbub with a very well attended and successful event.
The RHHS was busy for the entire 4 hours. Fortunately, we were very organized to begin with. Member volunteers set up on Friday night with a very nice display of the syrup, our pamphlets and a table display about the Maple Leaf. Vera Tachtaul, immediately posted photos to our FB page with the latest images of our booth. Volunteers were on hand very early on site, to look after everything before the doors opened. We priced everything and waited until our first customer. The maple syrup started to be sold almost right away and it was evident people were interested in buying but also to learn a little about maple syrup. We had “Quik Facts” on hand and were able to answer knowledgeably about the products we were selling. Some people made the mistake of saying they would come back later to pick something up, but for those people who hesitated, they were sadly disappointed when we sold out around 1:30 p.m. We did receive a few more bottles of syrup from city staff and we sold some just before the event closed.
A special thank you to all of the volunteers who helped to make this the success it was! Vera Tachtaul, Chuck Fraser, Elinor Charters, Agnes Parr, Joan Lund, Barbara Di Mambro, Alison Hughes, Denise Hughes and Linda Clark. We could not have done it without you!
What a great success for the Society! Selling out the entire order! Of course we do have to pay for the maple syrup once we receive the invoice but this will be our main fundraiser for this year after three years of no activity….. We have to thank Mayor West for including us once again in this event. The city event staff were wonderful and worked so hard to put this event on. It was Mayor West’s first Mayor’s event and it was a wonderful day!
We can’t wait until next year!