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March 19, 2019

It's maple syrup time: Maine Maple Sunday this weekend

Photo / James McCarthy Maple trees in Brunswick are tapped the old-fashioned way.

Nearly 100 maple sugar producers will open their doors to the public this weekend for the 36th annual Maine Maple Sunday, which celebrates Maine’s short but sweet $48.7 million maple sugaring industry.

Members of the Maine Maple Producers Association and licensed sugar houses across Maine use the event, always the fourth Sunday in March, to give the public for a behind-the-scenes look at maple sugaring and promote the industry. Many of the sugar houses are open for the weekend of Maine Maple Sunday.

Maine’s maple sugar producers contribute, including multiplier effects, an estimated $48.7 million in output, 805 full-and part-time jobs and $25.1 million in labor income, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation.

Maine, which has around 1.89 million taps, has the third largest syrup industry in the country, as well as the largest maple producing county in the country — Somerset County.

Kathy Hopkins, with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, in a news release Monday, touted the offerings that Maine maple producers will have this weekend, including demonstrations on how syrup is made, taste samples of syrup and food made with syrup, games, activities, treats, sugarbush tours, music and more. Many of the activities are detailed on the Maine Maple Producers interactive map of participants.

The best weather for maple sugaring is below-freezing nights and above-freezing days, according to producers. The forecast for the rest of the week shows that temperatures will cooperate.

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