AFTER ALL the snow and ice, wind and cold, it's nice to know one sweet sign of spring is on the way. The Maple Sugarin' Festival is scheduled at Hashawha Environmental Center and Bear Branch Nature Center on March 3.
The day will feature maple sugar demonstrations, taste-testing, country crafts, movies, hayrides, a Native American sugaring exhibit and a variety of foods, especially those involving maple sugar.
A pancake brunch will start the day, offering orange juice, coffee, sausage and pancakes topped with what else? Maple syrup! The breakfast will cost $2.25.
Although the festival will include a variety of everyday lunch foods, maple sugar sweets, crafts and other goodies for sale, Loren Lustig, administrator at Hashawha Environmental Center, says, "You could spend the whole day here and not even open your wallet."
Admission and parking are free, as is an open house and tour of exhibits at Bear Branch Nature Center. Free hayrides will be sponsored by the Maryland Draft Horse and Mule Association, free taste-testing and more.
"Every visitor will have a chance to make their own spile to take home," Mr. Lustig says. The spiles, hollowed out tubes used to tap into sugar maple trees to extract their sweet sap, will be made from elderberry or sumac branches. After making a spile, visitors might want to see the maple sap as it is boiled down in an iron kettle. It is a sight to behold, with great billows of steam rising from the pot, and the smell of maple wafting on the breeze.
Country crafts will be exhibited and sold, too. Mr. Lustig says vendors will demonstrate their crafts on the grounds.
Defining country crafts, Mr. Lustig says, "If you thought about a farm in rural America, or rural Carroll County 100 or so years ago, our crafts would be things that fit into that era."
The Maple Sugarin' Festival will be held all day at the centers near Westminster. Information: 848-9040.
Kid's Consignment Sale
A Kid's Consignment Sale will be held March 23 at First United Presbyterian Church, 65 Washington Road, from 7 a.m. to noon. The sale, sponsored by the Christian Preschool and Kindergarten, will feature quality children's clothing and baby equipment.
Consignors are being sought. Each will receive 60 percent of the sale price of their merchandise. If you have children's school or dress clothing, coats, large toys, strollers or other baby supplies that you would like to sell, call (410) 239-3069.
Grace Lutheran dinner
If you were told that you could help stop hunger by eating a soup meal for a nominal price, would you do it? If your answer is "yes," here is your opportunity to help.
The "Just Two" group at Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster will sponsor its annual "Soup Meal for Hunger" on Wednesday.
With homemade soup and breads offered, the meal will cost $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 12 and under. The meal will be served from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the church Fellowship Hall. Proceeds from this meal will go to hunger programs and the group will receive matching funds from Lutheran Brotherhood.
Grace Lutheran Church is at 21 Carroll St. in Westminster. Information: 848-7020.
Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.