It’s almost time for the annual Malabar Farm Maple Syrup Festival. This event, which has been held continuously since 1977, always occurs on the first two weekends in March. This free festival is a great opportunity for families and friends to step back in time, learn, and enjoy the history of Ohio syrup making at Malabar Farm State Park.

The festival includes demonstrations of sugaring techniques from the early days, when Ohio was home to Native Americans, through present day. A self-guided tour of the sugar camp and sugarhouse will reveal the evolution of sugaring equipment and how maple sap is transformed into maple syrup. There’s also the chance to experience the sweet smell of maple syrup cooking. A peek inside the summer bell house, behind the Pugh Log Cabin, will take you back to Ohio’s past. Kids and adults will also enjoy the horse-drawn wagon rides to the sugar camp provided by the Central Ohio Draft Horse Association. If you don’t mind walking, you can skip the wagon ride and walk directly to the sugar camp from the Malabar Farm visitor’s center.

Experience live historical demonstrations at the sugar camp, as well as fiber art demonstrations. Food and maple products will be available to sample and buy. Those interested in touring the Big House, home of author Louis Bromfield, can purchase tickets for a hosted tour at the visitor’s center gift shop. No ticket is needed to attend any part of the Maple Syrup Festival. The Central Ohio Draft Horse Association will accept donations.

The 2020 Malabar Farm Maple Syrup Festival will be held March 7-8 and 14-15, from noon to 4:00 PM each day. For directions or other Malabar Farm State Park information, visit

Want to preview the experience before you go? Destination Mansfield – Richland County created a short video of highlights from the 2019 festival, which you can view here:

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