Springtime is in full swing in The Mitten. I had an itch to take advantage of the warming temperatures and be outside. I looked to take in a festival while enjoying the intimacy of a small-town. With all that as my guide, I wound up in Mid-Michigan at the Vermont Maple Syrup Festival in the village of, you guessed it, Vermontville. This festival runs the last weekend in April. I spent the better parts of two days strolling around town and the festival. I am very happy with my choice.
As the name suggests, you will find anything and everything having to do with maple. In fact, local to Vermontville are numerous companies and families that make natural pure maple syrup. The Benedict Family Maple is the one I was most excited to visit. I spoke with the founder and a few other family members while taste testing the sweet goodness.
It was fascinating to hear about how they have gone from their first product, chocolate maple ultimate candy, to a full array of syrups, creams, candies, treats, and so much more. I secured a maple and sugar mix perfect for sprinkling on toast or using as a meat rub for barbecuing. The Benedict Family maple syrup was purchased as well (of course). Their sweet cream is to die for and I will use it in my morning coffees.
As I walked about, I drank maple root beer and purchased some maple cotton candy. I enjoyed an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with lots of maple syrup. I chose the American Legion/Nashville Lions Club breakfast. The Band Boosters also put on a good one across the street at the local fire station. (Next time!) For lunch and throughout the day, you will find several BBQ chicken fundraisers, some within the local churches.
Speaking of churches, being at the festival also gave me the opportunity to check out the town itself. I had never been to Vermontville before. Its history dates back to 1836. I checked out the Congregational Church and learned about the first settlement in town. The Vermontville Historical Museum was a blast too. Now I know where the name comes from. The first settlers were from Vermont.
As you walk through town, make sure you look up at the buildings along Main Street. I even stopped at a historical gas station where it still lists gas at 69 cents a gallon. Look down while strolling and you might see some the tulips of springtime in full bloom.
For carnival lovers, all the usual kid rides, games, and food trucks were present. Burgers, pizza, elephant ears, and brats were all available. Kids can also enjoy bunnies, goats, pigs, and more at the petting zoo. There is a playground in the center of town. While the kids are playing, check out other local maple producers and vendors in the same park. Walk the flea market across the street and head over to the expansive arts and crafts show in the Maplewood School. I secured some local fudge. I sense a sweet theme here!
Tip: For those that love yard sales, I saw at least a couple dozen sales, some pretty big, on the fifteen mile route between I-69 and Vermontville. They come out in full force festival weekend. You will also find some within the immediacy of downtown.
There is definitely something for everyone at the Vermont Maple Syrup Festival. I caught some of the children’s parade, the crowning of the 2017 Queen, and musical performances on the main stage right along Main Street. The Glen Erin Pipe Band and Ezy Band are worth a look. They play the festival every year. The weekend also brings the Grand Parade, 5K runs, egg tossing, an arm wrestling competition, a tractor pull, fireworks, and more.
I was lucky throughout as it was dark and ominous looking outside, but never rained. Wait, has maple syrup been mentioned? I also bought some from the Vermont Festival Corporation at Maple Manor. While I was there I checked out the machinery used to make the sweet, natural deliciousness.
It was amazing what the village of six-hundred in Mid-Michigan puts on every year. This was the 77th Annual Festival. I had a lot of “sweet” fun. The Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival is definitely an event I want my little boy and family to experience down the road.
View more of the sweet fun you can have at the Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival: