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Susquehanna Life

Our Inside Guide To The 73rd Annual Pennsylvania Maple Festival

72nd Annual Pennsylvania Maple Festival

March 28 & 29 and April 1-5, 2020

The Pennsylvania Maple Festival is an annual event in Meyersdale, PA, to celebrate spring, the tapping of maple syrup from local area maple trees and the heritage of this wonderful Laurel Highlands area.

This festival provides everyone with an opportunity to experience our culture, industry, and commerce as it has evolved over the past 72 years.


Schedule of Events and Activities

Saturday, March 28
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lions Club Pancake House
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Festival Park Complex/Quilt Show/Antique Tractor and Farm Machinery Show
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Meyersdale Train Station Open
  • 10 a.m., Maple City Players present Legend of the Magic Water at Morguen Toole Company
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sit & Sip Garden in Festival Park Complex
  • 12 to 4 p.m., Live entertainment with the Katelyn Rose Band in Festival Park Complex
  • 6:30 p.m., Dinner Theater Performance. Maple City Players present Legend of the Magic Water at Morguen Toole Company
Sunday, March 29
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lions Club Pancake House
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Festival Park Complex/Quilt Show/Antique Tractor and Farm Machinery Show
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Meyersdale Train Station Open
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Truck/Motorcycle/Side by Side/ATV Show on Main and Center Streets
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sit & Sip Garden in Festival Park Complex
  • 12 to 4 p.m., Live entertainment with Michael Christopher in Festival Park Complex
Wednesday, April 1
  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lions Club Pancake House
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Festival Park Complex & Quilt Show
Thursday, April 2
  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lions Club Pancake House
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Festival Park Complex & Quilt Show
  • 5 to 7 p.m., Community Pancake Dinner at Lions Club Pancake House
  • 7 p.m., Community Worship Service at Meyersdale Grace Brethren Church
Friday, April 3
  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lions Club Pancake House
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Festival Park Complex/Quilt Show/Antique Tractor and Farm Machinery Show
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Meyersdale Train Station Open
  • 10 a.m., Maple City Players present Legend of the Magic Water at Morguen Toole Company
Saturday, April 4
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lions Club Pancake House
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Festival Park Complex/Quilt Show/Antique Tractor and Farm Machinery Show
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Meyersdale Train Station Open
  • 9 a.m., Maple Race 8K/5K Run/Walk begins at Meyersdale High School
  • 1 p.m., Grand Feature Parade
  • 6:30 p.m., Dinner Theater Performance. Maple City Players present Legend of the Magic Water at Morguen Toole Company
Sunday, April 5
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lions Club Pancake House
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Quilt Show
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Festival Park Complex and Antique Tractor and Farm Machinery Show
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Meyersdale Train Station Open
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Antique & Classic Auto Show on Center and Main Streets
  • 1 p.m., Horse Pulling Contest at Somerset County Fairgrounds
  • 5 p.m., Agricultural Fair Exhibits and Quilt Show release/pick up at Festival Park and Fire Hall

*Events subject to change without notice and weather permitting.

Notice - No pets, bicycles, skateboards and/or hoverboards permitted in Festival Park or the Car Show Area.


Thank You to our Official Sponsors!

  


Admission Prices

Festival Park
(Includes admission to Festival Park Complex and Quilt Show)
Adults: $5 Children (ages 6-12): $1
Children (ages 5 & under): FREE
Admission Wednesday, Thursday & Friday only $1!


“Sit & Sip” Garden $5 
(Includes souvenir glass)
Guests must be age 21 or older to sample beverages.
Photo ID required to purchase tasting wristband.


Tour Information
Contact the Festival Office to book your tour today!
Phone: 814-634-0213 Toll Free: 866-858-0213
Email: pamaple@verizon.net
Interested in bringing a group of 10 or more?


Lions Club Pancake House
Pancakes, Fresh Sausage and 100% Pure Somerset County Maple Syrup.
Located in the Meyersdale Community Center, corner of Rt. 219 and Main Street.


Directions

From PA Turnpike: Take Exit 110 (Somerset) to Rt. 219 S.
From I-68: Take Exit 22 (Meyersdale) to Rt. 219 N.

Contact us at pamaplefestival.com
Connect with us on Facebook


Pennsylvania Maple Festival History

One scene that has become forever inseparable from the history of small-town America is a local store, a pot-bellied stove and a handful of people gathered around it. Any recounting of the history of the quiet rural community of Meyersdale must give special prominence to just such a Currier & Ives tableau. 

For it was actually around a potbellied stove of the Shipley Hardware Company store one blustery winter night some 60 years ago that plans were formulated which, in the years since, have succeeded in launching Meyersdale into a position of international renown as “Maple City, USA."

On that night a group of farseeing people had a vision—a celebration, a festival in Meyersdale to promote the sweetest of all Pennsylvania's commodities, our own Somerset County maple syrup, a Maple Festival—and that vision, that dream, became a reality.

The background for this amazing story of development and growth centers around that ever-popular American songstress, Miss Kate Smith. One day in the first part of 1947 Miss Smith, on her daily noontime broadcast, mentioned that she would appreciate a taste of some good Vermont maple syrup. Through the combined efforts of a few local citizens who accepted this as something of a challenge, the idea of sending the radio star a sample of Somerset County’s maple syrup was conceived and implemented. On her April 17, 1947 national broadcast, Miss Smith sang not only popular tunes but also the praises of our community's gift to her, pronouncing our local syrup to be the “sweetest she had ever tasted.”

This publicity furnished the impetus for a hard-driving promotional campaign which began that May under the auspices of the Meyersdale Chamber of Commerce. However, as the long winter days began to loom ahead, enthusiasm waned and it was not until that “summit of the potbellied stove,” January 20, 1948, that this campaign received the final push it needed to start it on the road to success. With Chamber of Commerce President W. Hubert Lenhart at the helm, a planning committee was decided upon and preparations for the very first Maple Festival to be held in Pennsylvania got underway.

It was on March 18, 1948 that this Somerset County Maple Festival which was to play such an important part in the postwar development of Meyersdale and surrounding communities took place. Pennsylvania's Governor Daniel B. Strickler as guest speaker addressed a crowd of 1,500 gathered on Main Street in front of the New Colonial Hotel. His words of praise for our enterprising and industrious community were followed by the coronation of Miss Agnes Jean Hornbrook, who had earlier won the right to the title of Pennsylvania's Queen Maple I. US Rep. William F. Crow performed the honors. A dinner and tour of local maple camps concluded the day.

The story of Meyersdale's Maple Festival is one of growth. From a handful of men gathered around a potbellied stove, it has come to include literally hundreds of workers. From a crowd of 1,500 spectators, it has become an attraction drawing thousands of visitors annually. Today, to mention Meyersdale anywhere in Pennsylvania, anywhere in the tri-state area and still very much farther than that, is to bring forth the reply, “Oh!  The Maple Festival.” The Maple Festival has truly succeeded in putting Meyersdale on the map. 

A search for the secret of this success leads one back to the community where it all started and back to its citizens. Each year has found more and more people putting aside their differences and working together—for the same cause—with the knowledge that every festival has made our Meyersdale a little more important, and better still, a nicer place in which to live.

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