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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 25, 2010

Maple trees will be celebrated on Palm Sunday

By Saranac Hale Spencer

KNOX — Sap is expected flow on Palm Sunday, so that’s when the Helderberg Kiwanis Club will host its Maple Festival.

Three area sugar bushes will be open for visitors to tour on Sunday, March 28.  The self-guided tours are free, with maps provided by the Kiwanis at the Knox firehouse on Route 156.

The farms will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a pancake dinner with local maple syrup will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the fire hall — adults eat for $8 and children under 12 eat for $4.

“They come from all over,” said Jan Van Etten, whose late husband, George, came up with the idea for the festival several years ago.  The group expects about 300 people to turn out, she said.

They’re expecting a good run from the sap on Sunday because a hard freeze is forecast for Friday.  Temperatures below freezing create a suction in the tree that draws in water and replenishes the sap, which flows when pressure caused by warmer temperatures forces it out of the tree.

Many people in the area produce maple syrup, Van Etten said, adding that all that is required is a wood stove with a pan on it for boiling down the sap.  Some of the large- scale producers, though, have specialized equipment for gathering and making maple products.

Also on Sunday at the firehouse, there will be an Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the town of Knox, pony rides, and bunnies, Van Etten said.

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