Celebrate Maple Syrup Season with Oglebay Institute and Family Roots Farm

It’s maple syrup season – how will you celebrate? Oglebay Institute’s Schrader Center and Family Roots Farm are excited to offer the community ways to savor this locally sourced syrup and learn more about how it’s produced. 

First up is Oglebay Institute’s Maple Sugaring Festival this Saturday, March 2nd, from 9 a.m. — 1 p.m. This annual event is held at the Schrader Center and features a variety of events focused around maple syrup production and history. The festival will feature a pancake dinner including sausage and locally made maple syrup. Afterward, guests can learn about the different sugaring techniques throughout history, from how Native Americans made maple syrup to how it’s made today. Guests will also have the opportunity to taste sap and play pioneer games. 

Oglebay Schrader Center encourages you to pre-register for this event anytime before the pancake dinner. All other activities hosted by the festival can be experienced or explored at your own pace. Registration for the festival is $12 per person, with children 3 and under receiving free admittance. Interested persons can register for the Maple Sugaring Festival online at Oglebay Institute’s website or by calling 304-242-6855.  

Maple Sugaring Festival (photo courtesy of Oglebay Institute)

Other events featuring maple syrup during February and March are held by Family Roots Farm, a local, family-owned and run, maple sugar company located roughly thirty minutes outside Wheeling in Wellsburg. They will be celebrating Mountain State Maple Days by hosting a Sugar Shack Social on March 16th from 9 a.m. – noon at their farm (245 Hervey Lane, Wellsburg, WV). This event will feature a tour of Family Roots Farm Sugar Shack, as well as the opportunity for participants to bring their empty Family Roots Farm maple syrup jug back for a discounted refill, and to visit the gift shop and purchase a variety of maple syrup products. Complementary maple hot dogs will be served, and reservations are required for this event. Interested parties can reserve their spot online at Family Roots Farm website. 

And make sure to check out Family Roots Farm throughout the year, as they sell a variety of products and don’t limit themselves to just producing maple syrup. During late winter and early spring, the farm sells its homemade maple syrup in addition to other maple products such as maple sugar, maple cream, maple cotton candy, maple fudge, and maple granola. They then transition to strawberry season in the early summer, where visitors can pick their own strawberries throughout May and June. During the height of summer, Family Roots Farm grows and harvests red tomatoes from June through October. The farm also grows sweet corn for selling during August, and they begin producing sorghum in mid-October. 

Subscribe to Weelunk

But, until you can visit Ogelbay’s Maple Syrup Festival and Family Roots Farm, here are some fun facts about maple syrup. 

7 Fun Facts about Maple Syrup

  • Maple trees can produce syrup-making sap for up to 100 years, but the tree must be at least 45 years old before it is tapped the first time.1
  • One maple tree is capable of producing between 5 and 15 gallons of sap during the syrup season.2
  • Early Americans such as the pioneers and Native Americans made maple sugar instead of maple syrup because it was easier to store without refrigeration.3
  • Quebec, Canada, produces three-fourths of the world’s maple syrup annually.4
  • Maple syrup is categorized into grades, with Grade A syrup being lighter color and Grade B syrup being darker and having a stronger taste.5
  • Real maple syrup is healthier than store-bought syrup, white sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. Unlike store-bought syrup, real maple syrup contains lots of nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.6
  • In 2011 and 2012 there was a maple syrup heist where almost 3,000 tons of syrup valued at $18 million dollars were stolen from maple syrup suppliers in Quebec.7

• Anna Griffith is a Senior majoring in English Rhetoric and Writing with a double minor in Creative Writing and Marketing. She is a founding member of Threshold and was the Public Relations Manager during her Sophomore and Junior year. She is continuing her PR position during her Senior year in addition to being Editor-in-Chief. After graduation, Anna hopes to attend a master’s program and eventually work in publishing or as a librarian.


1 7 Fascinating Maple Syrup Facts

2 11 Interesting Facts About Maple Syrup

3 Maple Syrup Facts

4 https://www.farmersalmanac.com/maple-syrup-facts

5 10 Surprising Facts About Maple Syrup

6 The great maple syrup heist and 8 other interesting facts about maple syrup

7 https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/canada/articles/11-interesting-facts-about-maple-syrup