Festival to feature pancake breakfast; visitors to learn maple sugaring process from Penn State students
During the Maple Harvest Festival and Pancake Breakfast at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, visitors can enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast while learning about the maple sugaring process from tree to table.
The 33rd annual Maple Harvest Festival will be held at Shaver’s Creek on March 19 and 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival, which began in 1984 and also features live music, storytelling and live birds of prey and reptile shows, welcomes approximately 2,000 visitors each year.
Ben Bender, a junior majoring in recreation, park and tourism management, will be among the more than 30 Penn State students taking Recreation, Park and Tourism Management 297G — interpreting maple sugaring to families — who will teach visitors how to identify and tap sugar maple trees, and demonstrate sugaring techniques used by Native Americans, pioneers and modern-day farmers.
“We’re able to give visitors a sense of how technology has evolved and the challenges people have experienced during the course of history,” said Bender, who will portray a mid-1800s maple syrup collector at the cultural history station.
The cultural history station is one of five interactive areas, which also includes the tree identification station, tapping station, collection station and sugar shack, directed by Penn State students. Production interns and more than 200 volunteers also help at the festival each year.
Laurie McLaughlin, festival director and RPTM course instructor, said students learn unique interpretation and communication skills, which help them teach the maple sugaring process to different age groups in engaging and interactive ways.
Admission to the festival and pancake breakfast is $5 (ages 12 and older) and $3 (ages 6-11) for members and $10 and $6, respectively, for non-members. Admission for children ages 5 and younger is free. Shaver’s Creek also offers one round-trip bus accommodation each day for up to 40 people. The bus will leave the HUB-Robeson Center at 10:30 a.m. and arrive back at campus at 3:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 per person for ages 12 and older, and must be purchased in advance by calling 814-863-2000.
For more information, visit shaverscreek.org/pancakes.