Clevelanders get one last chance to celebrate this year’s local maple syrup crop and at the same time, herald the arrival of Spring at the 83rd annual Geauga County Maple Festival in Chardon, Ohio on Thursday, April 26, Friday, April 27, Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29. Most of the activities are free but there are some minimal charges for a few activities (amusement rides, pancake breakfast among them).
Geauga County Maple Festival With a 2012 theme of “MAPLE — Our Sweetest Heritage,” this year’s festival will be held on the historic Chardon Square and the people of Chardon will be celebrating the community’s 200th birthday.
Pancakes in the Park (with real Geauga County maple syrup) will be offered in the festival pancake tent on the square on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. for a small fee.
During the Festival there will be free live entertainment with music provided by Paul Kovac and Friends, the Chardon Polka Band, the Swamp Rattlers, the Northern Comfort Band, the Jasmine Dragons and BIG in JAPAN. There will also be performances by magician The Great Brad.
Among some of the activities will be amusement rides (for a fee), an arts & crafts show, a baking contest, a tug ‘o war, a pizza eating contest, a pancake eating contest, a beard and mustache contest, a maple syrup and candy contest and two “Sap Runs” (one mile and 5 mile races).
Other special activities include an invitational lumberjack competition, the crowning of the Maple Queen, maple syrup judging and auction of the winning selections and bathtub races down Main Street on Chardon Square. You can also visit the Sugarhouse.
The Festival will hold two Grand Parades (one on Saturday and one on Sunday at 3 p.m.).
At the Log Cabin on the Square, visitors will be able to purchase maple stirs in addition to maple candy and maple corn.
Hours for the Geauga County Maple Festival are noon – 10 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Parking is available on and around Chardon Square for approximately $5. You can also partake of free parking and use of a shuttle bus from the Sheetz Shopping Plaza. Shuttles do not run during the parades.
For those of you who would like to make the Geauga County Maple Festival an overnight excursion, the Baymont Inn & Suites (the official hotel of the Festival) is offering discount rates during Festival week. Room rates are $69 per night. Baymont Inn & Suites is located at 7581 Auburn Rd. in Concord, Ohio. Call 440-579-0300 or get online at www.baymontinns.com to make reservations.
For more information about the Geauga County Maple Festival get online at www.maplefestival.com.
Historic Chardon Square is located at Route 6 and Route 44. Chardon, Ohio is approximately a 45 minute drive from downtown Cleveland.