Contributed photo
Kate Lachowitzer will be performing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Summers Design Center during the Maple Syrup Festival in Vergas on Saturday, April 13.

By Robert Williams


Plans are being finalized for the first Vergas event of the spring, the Maple Syrup Festival, which will be held on Saturday, April 13.

The event gets an early kickoff this year with the Maple Leaf Scavenger Hunt starting Monday, April 1. Search participating businesses for the maple leaf and be entered to win. Check out the Vergas Community Club Facebook page for more details as the first of the month nears.

The winner will be announced at Summers Design Center at 11 a.m., on April 13.

Summers Design Center is one of the major hubs of the festival Saturday morning hosting a maple syrup contest from 8-10 a.m.; a vendor fair from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., live music by Kat Lachowitzer from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“We had a great crowd down here last year,” said Organizer Joy Summers.

A “Back to Maple Basics” presentation by Stu Peterson will be held at 10 a.m.

“It is something that would be interesting from anyone who doesn’t know anything about making maple syrup to those who are already producing,” said Summers.

The maple syrup contest is open to all syrup producers, large and small.

“Whether you tap five or 500 trees, it’s open to anyone,” Summers said. 

Participants are asked to bring their sample for the judges into the Design Center before 10 a.m.

Vendor spots are available for both producers of maple products and non-maple products. Contact Joy Summers at the Design Center to register at (218) 342-4201. The Vendor Fair will be held inside the Design Center with room outdoors if necessary. Maple syrup producers have first priority for inside tables.

All of the events are free, including spots at the vendor fair.

“We just want to open it up and get people to shop downtown,” said Mike Summers.

All the Vergas businesses will be participating with their own maple-themed products and themes.

During the three hour morning window 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., there will also be face painting, magic color pages and a leaf hunt for the kids.

Summers Design Center is also the registration home for the 9 a.m. 5k run. Cost is $30; registration is from 8-8:30 a.m. and medals will be awarded to the top five runners.

The staple of the festival is the Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser at the Event Center, sponsored by the Vergas Community Club and the Vergas Lions. Pancakes with authentic maple syrup will be served until gone beginning at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 10 and under and only cash is accepted.

Farm 41 will be offering horse drawn wagon rides from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. departing from the United Methodist Church.

Updates and more information will be available on the Vergas Community Club Facebook page in the final three weeks leading up to the festival.

The Maple Syrup Festival also coincides with Maple Syrup Day at Maplewood State Park this year. Vergas is an excellent stop to get a day full of maple activities started. The Friends of Maplewood Sugar Shack near the Maplewood Trail Center  will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free, although a State Park vehicle pass is required and sold at the park entry.

The Friends of Maplewood will have demonstrations set up to experience the maple syrup process, including how to identify maples, how to tap trees, ways to carry to sap, what the boiling process is all about, and sampling ice cream with maple syrup. Refreshments will be available for purchase.