A sweet tradition continued in St. Albans Sunday with a parade capping off the 46th annual Maple Festival.
It's been a sticky winter for Vermont's sweetest -- and earliest to harvest - cash crop. Many producers only had enough sap to produce half the maple syrup they typically do this year.
But syrup is the toast of St. Albans, at least for one weekend. The 46th annual maple festival ran smoothly, drawing tens-of-thousands and culminating with a large parade.
National, State, and local elected officials all made appearances, as did some of their furry foes.
Organizers, like Festival Co-chairwoman Carolyn Perley, say syrup fans and producers came from near and far. "We have people from all over the maple country coming in from as far as Ohio," she said.
The festival is nationally recognized and it has made the state chamber of commerce's top ten summer events list five years running.
This year fans of all ages say it's an event they savor. "I like the tractors, I like everything," said Caleb Jordan.
"It's all beautiful. Everything's beautiful-- it's really very nice," said Geraldine Seymour.
Reporter Kyle Midura: What's it like to try and control the kids when they're all hopped up on maple syrup?
Claire Gilligan: As long as they're not hurting other people or hurting themselves, or causing any major problems, it's okay with me.
This year event organizers hoped participants would look past syrup's delicious taste and appreciate its new-found health benefits. Recent Research shows syrup's plentiful in antioxidants, can help speed muscle recovery and contains nutrients like zinc, iron, calcium and potassium.
"So we're taking that this year, and that's the theme for the parade," Perley said.
If Sunday's showing is any indication of syrup's demand, a light winter may leave the sweet stuff in short supply.
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