Highland County, “Virginia’s Sweet Spot,” will celebrate its largest annual event showcasing the tradition of maple syrup-making at the 58th annual Highland Maple Festival on the weekends of Mar. 12-13 and Mar. 19-20.
The 2016 festival will mark the second “Official Maple Festival of the Commonwealth” since legislation passed in the summer of 2014. The Highland Maple Festival has also been listed on the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for 16 years and is recognized by the Appalachian Regional Commission initiative Bon Appétit Appalachia. Selected as a Local Legacy by the Library of Congress in 1999, the event attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Farmers in this rural community welcome visitors to their “sugar camps” to observe the process of making maple syrup, from tree-tapping to bottling the finished product, on the second and third weekends of every March. Festival highlights include all-you-can-eat buckwheat and pancake breakfasts, maple doughnuts, locally harvested Allegheny Mountain trout, a juried Arts and Crafts Show with over 150 vendors, live bluegrass bands and clogging demonstrations.
Located in the mountains of Virginia’s Western Highlands, the Highland Maple Festival re-creates a unique and informative insight into a rapidly vanishing way of rural American life.
For more information on the 58th Highland Maple Festival, contact the Highland County Chamber of Commerce at 540-468-2550, or visit the Chamber’s website at www.highlandcounty.org.