The sugarhouse at Maple Moon Farm in Lebanon will be open Maine Maple Sunday but only for a limited number of people. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Maine Maple Sunday is back after a pandemic-induced absence last year. It still promises to be sweet, but less sticky than in years past.

More than 100 maple producers around Maine will be open for Maine Maple Sunday Weekend, this Saturday and Sunday. But many, if not most, are staying away from traditional Maine Maple Sunday events that lead to packed crowds, including pancake breakfasts, musical performances and wagon rides.

Maple syrup will be on sale this weekend, for Maine Maple Sunday, at Dunn Family Maple in Buxton. Photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Instead, many are open mainly to sell their wares, since Maine Maple Sunday Weekend can account for about half of a maple farm’s yearly sales, said Scott Dunn of Dunn Family Maple in Buxton and president of the Maine Maple Producer’s Association.

Some maple producers will be selling syrup, fudge, candy, whoopie pies and other treats from a window in their sugarhouse or under a tent. Others say you can call ahead and place an order to pick up curbside, or sugarhouse-side. Some are also selling syrup and treats beyond Maine Maple Sunday Weekend this year, to help thin out crowds. Just as many restaurants have transitioned to takeout this year, Maine Maple Sunday Weekend will be more about getting your goods to go.

Some farms will be giving demonstrations and explanations of syrup making to small groups or outside of the sugar house, to avoid crowds. To see specific examples of what maple farms are offering this weekend, and which ones are selling syrup into April this year, go to mainemapleproducers.com. The Maine Maple Sunday map page has a searchable list of maple farms and sugarhouses that are participating and and shows their locations. If you click on a specific farm, you can see the address, the hours it will be open on Maine Maple Sunday or beyond, and what products will be sold or what activities will be offered.

There might also be information on COVID-19 restrictions, including mask requirements and social distancing.

Raider’s Sugarhouse in China, seen here last fall, will be open for Maine Maple Sunday this year. Buy this Photo

“Missing out last year was a huge hit to our producers, so we really want to get this in. It’s going to be a different kind of event, but we’d like to err on the side of safety,” said Dunn.

Maine Maple Sunday is in its 38th year as the state’s premier maple showcase, and despite its name, it is usually held over both weekend days. Last fall, the state’s maple farms started a new event they hope to continue called Maine Maple Producers Weekend, held in October.

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If you’re itching to get some fresh maple syrup now, during syrup season, here are a few examples of what various farms are offering on Maine Maple Sunday Weekend. Many are out in scenic, pastoral and rural settings. So for those of us stuck in one place during the pandemic, just taking a scenic drive to get maple syrup is an activity in itself.

Brookridge Boilers in Lyman will be open just on Sunday, mostly selling syrup and other treats from a take-out window. One of those is a version of a French-Canadian maple concoction sometimes known as tire sur la neige in French, translated roughly to sugar on snow.  The treat’s consistency is somewhere between a syrup and a taffy and is sold in containers to go. The sugarhouse is also encouraging people to place orders for maple treats all season long by phone or through the Brookridge Boilers Facebook page.

Merrifield Farm in Gorham will be selling its maple wares on Maine Maple Sunday and all month long. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Merrifield Farm in Gorham will be open, not only Saturday and Sunday for sales, but every day, now through March 31, including for curbside pickup. The farm will be selling syrup, maple cream, pure maple candy, maple whoopie pies, maple coated nuts, maple cotton candy. On Maine Maple Sunday Weekend, they’ll have maple baked beans in pint containers to go. For more information, go to the Merrifield Farm Facebook page.

Hilltop Boilers in Newfield is trying to thin potential crowds by creating what it calls “Maine Maple Weekend X7.” The farm will be open four days a week for seven weeks, through April 25, for people to visit and stock up on maple goodies at their heated maple store. Besides syrup, they are selling maple candy, creamy maple fudge, maple whoopie pies,  maple baked beans and maple cotton candy. For more information, on the farm go to hilltopboilersmaplesyrup.com.

Maple Moon Farm in Lebanon will be letting a limited number of visitors into the sugarhouse to see and learn about the syrup-making process, said Frank Ferrucci, who runs the farm with his wife, Jennifer Schultz. Ferrucci said he enjoys teaching people about the history of syrup making and the amount of work involved and wants to that again this year but as safely as possible. The farm has a tent for selling maple treats, including pure maple syrup, infused syrups (vanilla bean and cinnamon), maple butter, maple sugar, maple candy and farm-fresh eggs. For more information on the farm, go to maplemoonfarm.com.

Hilltop Boilers in Newfield will be selling syrup and treats on Maine Maple Sunday and beyond. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Dunn Family Maple in Buxton will open this weekend and the first weekend in April. It will be offering maple samples, but on a smaller scale than usual. As always, the farm will have complementary ice cream with maple syrup. The doors to the sugarhouse will be open, but people will be asked to look from a distance without entering, said owner Scott Dunn. Syrup  makers will be on hand to explain the process, he said. Besides syrup, Dunn Family Maple will be selling maple cream, maple-coated peanuts, maple sugar, maple candy, maple drops, maple jelly, maple cotton candy and maple whoopie pies. For more information, go to dunnfamilymaple.com.

At Dad’s Maple Sugar Shack in Harrison, people can walk through the “sugarbush,” and kids will have a chance to check buckets and collect syrup. There will also be animals on hand, including miniature horses, angora rabbits and chickens. Besides maple products, they will be selling items knit from the wool of the angora rabbits. For more information, see Dad’s listing at mainemapleproducers.com.

Clark Cole Family Pure Maple Syrup, made at this sugar house, will be sold at Andy’s Agway in Dayton on Maine Maple Sunday. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

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