The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

My Maine Maple Sunday

Hadley Blodgett
Six ounce maple syrup container purchased at Ricker Hill in Turner, ME.

On March 24 families flocked to the numerous maple sugar shacks spread through the state. This wasn’t a random occurrence. Maine Maple Sunday/weekend has celebrated Spring, maple trees and local businesses.

Always set for the fourth Sunday in March, this event has been going on for over 40 years. Far before New England was colonized, this tradition was practiced in Maine by Indigenous tribes. Now, centuries later it is still being practiced in areas of the country with warm days and nights with temperatures below freezing; just like Maine’s Spring. 

In early March, Governor Janet Mills made a speech in which she talked about the 450 licensed Maine Syrup producers who make 575,000 gallons of syrup in the state every year. Maine is only the third largest maple syrup producer in the United States, but Somerset County is the highest syrup-producing county than any other in the United States. Syrup and sap production is a large part of Maine’s economy, generating more than $55 million annually.

In the governor’s speech, she also highlighted the Passamaquoddy and the “40,000 acres of land in Somerset and Franklin County, where they run 14,000 taps and have a very vigorous and robust maple syrup industry.”

Some businesses have breakfast, games, sap-tapping tours and other Maple-related activities. You can witness how maple syrup is made, and the dedication and detail that goes into each gallon. 

This year, the snowstorm on March 23 caused many businesses to close on Saturday. But that didn’t stop me from venturing out on Sunday to Ricker Hill in Turner. It was beautiful with temperatures in the 40s and the smell of freshly baked maple doughnuts floating through the air. The area was packed as families stood in line with various maple products. 

Their selection was giant. In the front of the room on display cases of wood were tons of maple butter, maple cotton candy, maple ice cream, maple hard cider, maple taffy and plain maple syrup boiled in their sugar shack. Ricker was ready. 

I left soon after, hands full of maple syrup and fresh maple doughnuts that made my mouth water. My adorable little syrup container, barely 6 oz, sits in my fridge until I can use it on the pancakes and waffles at Commons. Overall it was a success.

Some nearby businesses to venture into next year can be found on the Maine Maple Producer Association’s website which has a detailed map and links to each of the businesses and their maple weekend events. 

So, mark your GCal’s because Maine Maple Syrup 2025 is set for March 22 and 23.

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About the Contributor
Hadley Blodgett
Hadley Blodgett, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor
Hadley (she/her) is a Sophomore from Buckfield, Maine which is really close to Bates. She is a member of the Brass Ensemble and also the Jazz Band, and does music in her free time too. In her free time volunteers with the Auburn Community Concert Band providing free community concerts through the summer and winter. Besides a minor interest in music she also enjoys being outside and exploring parts of Maine she hasn’t been to before. Her favorite hike is currently Eyebrow Loop Trail. In her free time she writes, works, and also dabbles in photography.

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