CNY Maple Festival Brings Many to Marathon

By WBNG News

March 25, 2012 Updated Mar 25, 2012 at 10:16 PM EDT

Marathon, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Sugaring is an art form in Cortland County, exhibited each year at the Central new York Maple Festival.

The trees and the celebration may be tapped out this year, but, not before delighting many who ran to Marathon for the event.

Once a year thousands of people gather in Marathon to celebrate all things maple. Though there was somewhat less syrup this year after a mild
"The syrup production was down, I believe statewide was close to half of the normal crop, we were closer to a third," said maple sugarer Bill Whitmore.

This is usually prime time for tree tapping. The syrup season drips from the middle of February to April. "That's a six-week window and that's normal," Whitmore said, "but it really wasn't there this year."

That shorter harvest time cause higher syrup prices at the store, but not here at the Maple Fest.

Volunteer Laurie Ward said, "the producers felt we should maintain the price of the syrup because we want people to come and enjoy the festival and buy the maple products without seeing a price increase every year."

Visitors sure enjoy spring's sugary treat.

"Oh it's awesome, the maple syrup ... the pancakes!" said Jordan Michalowski.

It's not just the product that makes this event a ritual for many.

"I enjoy talking, I enjoy demonstrating," said Walter Palmer. We've had a lot of people come back every year just to see us demonstrate."

Dolores Anthony enjoys "being here on the corner and watching the people parade."

Though the season may not have been the best, all those people made the end product something sweet. "We think some of that was due in part to people realizing that they might not be able to get it later in the year, we'd better get it now!" Ward said.

Coordinators say sales this weekend were above average.

The Maple Fest usually draws more than 10,000 people during its two days each year.