Westfield has had a Maple Syrup Festival since 1994. Since that time over 150 000 visitors have learned about turning sap to syrup. This year the sap has started to run a bit early as can be seen from these pictures taken on February 25.
A big part of the Festival is to eat pancakes with real Maple Syrup in the Ironwood Hall. The St. George Lions Club has served up thousands of pancakes over the last 10+ years and this year will be no different. A generous sized pancake only costs a $1.00. You can add sausage for a dollar, a slice of ham for a dollar, a drink for a dollar- well you get the picture. Pancakes are available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and it’s okay if you only want to come for breakfast. The Ironwood is located outside the historic area. Some of our visitors take full advantage and come back week after week.The admission charge to the Festival is $11.00 for an adult, a senior 65 and older is $10.00, a child 6-12 years is $6.50 and a child 5 and under is free. (While tickets are available online you can also buy them at the door.) This charge allows you to visit the modern sugar shack, visit two historic maple syrup demonstration sites, visit about 30 historical buildings and have a horse drawn wagon ride. The parking is free. If you have a Nature's Reward Pass you can use that as well. It allows you to bring in up to 6 people including 4 adults for free. The pass is a great way to spend Sunday afternoons at Westfield throughout the season or to visit one of the Hamilton Conservation Authority's other popular sites. Throughout the Festival visitors will have the chance to find out about the Authority's many programs and purchase a pass that is valid for a full year from the date of purchase.
As visitors leave the site most stop at the Maple Syrup Gift Shop to purchase a maple treat. The shop is well stocked with a variety of Maple Syrup products including, syrup, sugar, fudge and tea. Below you will find a recipe from the Sweet Maple book by James M. Lawrence and Rux Martin. Something to try with the Maple Syrup purchase you make at Westfield.
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 3/4 cups maple syrup
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract (you might want to try Maple extract to add a stronger Maple flavour)
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 x 13 inch baking sheets. In a large bowl, beat together butter, maple syrup, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in oats. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and slat. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Hope to see you at the 2016 Westfield Maple Syrup Festival!