The Red Door Sugar Shack in Topsham is stocked with maple syrup and ready for Maine Maple Sunday this weekend. The sugar shack will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

After the coronavirus pandemic shut down Maine Maple Sunday weekend in 2020, many sugar shacks are reopening for the annual event Saturday and Sunday, though it won’t look like most years.

Maine Maple Producers Association President Scott Dunn said many producers have reduced activities and canceled events — like pancake breakfasts that draw more people for longer periods of time — to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Dunn estimates 100 sugar houses out of 120 around the state will be open for Maine Maple Sunday this weekend, adding, “It’s a chance to get out and experience a true Maine tradition.”

It’s also an event where many maple producers make upwards of 50% of their sales in a year, Dunn said.

Andrew Thibeault of Red Door Sugar Shack in Topsham said that, in pre-pandemic years, he has seen as many as 800 visitors on Saturdays and 2,200 on Sundays during Maine Maple weekend. While the pandemic canceled last’s year’s event, he was able to sell all the maple products he made last year with the help of social media.

The Red Door Sugar Shack in Topsham will be open Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Maine Maple Sunday. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

He won’t be able to pass around free samples this year, but said “we’re going to try to do everything we can to make it still fun.”


Andrew Bucher said events at his Maple Hill Enterprises in Durham won’t be very different from previous years. He’ll allow one family to be inside the sugar shack together at one time.

Maine Maple Sunday is where about 90% of his sales come from, Bucher said. Because he was able to adapt and offer maple syrup through a curbside service using Facebook, Bucher said he did well last year despite the pandemic. He’s happy to be able to welcome visitors again, however.

Tubing wraps around maple trees near Red Door Sugar Shack in Topsham. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

“The spring is when people have been indoors all winter and it’s fun to get out and spring is coming and that excitement in the air, you can’t replace that with anything,” Bucher said.

Other local producers are not holding traditional events.

Goranson Farm in Dresden decided not to hold events at the farm. Employee Aaron Cyr-Mutty said the farm stand will be stocked with maple syrup products over the weekend, including maple walnuts and candy.

In Richmond, Maine-iac Maple Farm announced earlier this week it isn’t participating in Maine Maple Sunday due to COVID restrictions and low sap output.

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