April showers bring May flowers, but in Central Michigan April brings maple syrup. Hosted every last full weekend in April, the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival brings thousands of visitors to Shepherd area.
In August of 1958, the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce began a one-day festival where they would produce over 100 gallons of maple syrup and serve a few hundred meals. Through the years the festival transformed into an entire weekend of activities. “The festival has a huge impact on the community,” said volunteer Kara Bouman, “The festival brings in income for us to improve and maintain our parks. The festival has also purchased a plot of land to house events.”
The preparation for the festival happens behind the scenes and even weeks before the event happens. Many local volunteers young and old help make the festival a success every year. From tapping trees, to organizing parades the people of Shepherd are truly the heart of the festival.
Visitors come from all over the spend the one weekend in Shepherd, MI. “I think people come to our sweet little village for the Pancake dinner that is served with our wonderful sausage & maple syrup!” said Bauman, “The Maple Syrup Festival has many events that are planned for the weekend for all ages.” Activities for the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival include parades on Friday and Sunday evening, indoor and outdoor craft booths, a classic car show, carnival rides, and all you can eat pancake and sausage meals.
New for 2015 include a Maple Syrup Brat meal on Saturday, and on Sunday the Scottville Clown Band performing downtown before the parade and the kids can “Climb Aboard” the trucks and machines on Wright Ave.
For more information on Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival events and activities visit www.shepherdmaplesyrupfest.org.