Maple Syrup Festival!

We've been learning about how maple syrup is made, how and why it was used.  So we were really excited to be able to go to one of the many maple syrup festivals this year!

The only down sides was how very BUSY it was!  There was at least a few thousand people there.  The lineups for food were over half an hour long! 

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So we decided to go somewhere else to eat at the end of the day.  The kids were a little disappointed not to get a pancake supper there.  But quickly cheered up when dh said we'd go out for pizza.  Then I made a big pancake breakfast the next morning.  Topped off with our own maple syrup of course!

 Maple Syrup Festival Field Trip

Maple Syrup Festival Field Trip

Since it was so busy they have parking lots set up throughout the town.  You catch one of the many free busses running back and forth to the conservation park.  The girls had a great time!  It was there very first time on a bus.  :-)  Once they got used to the bumpy ride and not needing seat belts they had a great time.

 Fur Trade Encampment

Fur Trade Encampment

 Soft Furs

Soft Furs

Once we got there we tried to watch the sheep shearing demonstration.  Unfortunately it was so crowded we couldn't get near it.  So we headed down one of the trails away from the crowds.

We found our way to the trappers camp.  We had fun looking at the teepees.  They also had lots of different furs set up to look at.  The girls had fun comparing their softness and trying to guess what each one was.

We also talked to a gentleman who was making leather pouches.  He was working with 3 different types of leather deer, moose and caribou (or elk?? I can't remember).  It was interesting to learn about the different types.  He explained how they all stretched differently and were different strengths.

 Fur Trading

Fur Trading

Then we talked with another gentleman that had a "trading camp" set up.  It was very interesting looking at all the items fur traders bartered with the Native Americans for furs.  He showed us some of the knives that the Natives would trade for.

We learned that they often would have them cut in half, to make two tools.   Sometimes they would have them added into the middle of their war clubs to make a more deadly weapon.  We got talking about the older map makers and how reliable some of them were.  We could have stayed and talked with him all day! After that we walked through some of the pioneer areas.  They had lots of different camp kitchens set up.

 Making Rope

Making Rope

We stopped at a rope making station.  Each of the girls got make there own ropes!

 Horse Wagon Ride

Horse Wagon Ride

Then we went for a horse drawn wagon ride.  The kids loved that!  They all thought it was a nicer ride than the bus LOL!

 Tapping Maple Trees

Tapping Maple Trees

After that we stopped at a display were the kids could tap their own tree.   The gentleman had a large maple log set up as the corner post of his tent area.

 Making Rope

Making Rope

He helped the little ones drill their own holes with an old fashion hand drill.  Then clean out the hole and hammer in there tap, lastly hanging the bucket.  After their hard work they were rewarded with a sucker from the sucker tree!

 Feeding Sheep

Feeding Sheep

We also visited the sheep and alpaca pen.  The kids could go in and feed and play with the animals.  There was also another animal barn set up with different farm animals.

 Maple Syrup Fun

Maple Syrup Fun

One of our last stops was a decorate your own maple syrup bucket.  Unfortunately  they were just about out of paint and decorations by the time we got there.  But the girls still had fun.  :-)  When we got home they added more drawings to their buckets. Overall we had a great time!