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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tap into Maple 2015 launched in Ontario's Lake Country

(News Release)

This past weekend marked the start of the upcoming maple season!

Two events to celebrate the maple season took place including the launch of the Tap into Maple route and the first tapping of the season. The local maple syrup producers are gearing up for the upcoming time of year and with the samplings of the sweet flavours we are all ready and excited for the Tap into Maple program to kick off.

Hewitts Farm Market and Bakery in Severn was abuzz with all things maple during the launch of Tap into Maple this past Friday. All of the featured businesses attended this event to provide sweet samples and to showcase, on how their business is participating in the program. 

This year there are five maple syrup producers, four stay and play packages, many maple related events and celebrations, giftware and products, delicious treats and restaurant menu items, farmers’ markets and museums with a large variety of available maple items. It was a great opportunity to get a taste of what the route will involve and what to expect. It was a very well attended event filled with delicious treats, great networking and a wonderful way to kick off this fantastic program.

The Simcoe County Maple Syrup Producers gathered on Saturday, at Steamy Kettle Sugar Bush in Oro-Medonte, owned by Chris Ellsmere, to complete the first tapping of the season. On hand were local dignitaries and media to participate in this annual event.
Celebrating the first tapping of the sugar maple trees at Steamy Kettle Sugar Bush and the launch of the Tap into Maple Program are MPP Garfield Dunlop, Severn Township Councillor Jane Dunlop, Marketing Manager for Ontario’s Lake Country Jennifer Whitley, Marketing & Sales Associate for Ontario’s Lake Country Diane Fotopoulos Wright.
Each took a turn tapping a maple sugar tree with a drill and completing with placing a spile and bucket ready to capture the sap. It will be a few more weeks until the sap starts to flow with the extremely cold weather conditions, but this time of year is when the producers are out placing the taps on the trees in preparation for the busy season that lies ahead. Some of the local producers have over 7000 trees to tap and prepare. 

Kicking off this weekend, March 1st and running until May 31st, local residents and visitors are encouraged to experience all things maple on the sweetest route in Ontario’s Lake Country & Springwater.

Visit the website www.TapIntoMaple.com for a full listing of the businesses, events and activities taking place as well as an interactive map providing directions from your location to the participating businesses you select. This is available on your mobile device and tablets, so while you are on the go visitors have the information they require. Follow us on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where we will post updates including when the sap starts to flow as well as upcoming attractions and festivals.

Some of the businesses are ready for the upcoming March Break and have plans in place for the traditional taffy on the snow. This is a very sought after past time that people of all ages can enjoy throughout the Tap Into Maple program and will be available at Shaws Maple Syrup, Lalondes Maple Syrup, Sweetwater Festival &  Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival check our website for details and times.

This exciting self-guided route ventures through all of the municipalities in Ontario’s Lake Country and Springwater and has something for everyone. This experience has evolved into a tour of the region’s most popular eateries, accommodations, sugar bushes, museums and shops and all stops have something to do with maple, the delicious sugary Canadian flavour.

 “Tap into Maple is about more than maple syrup,” said Jennifer Whitley, Marketing Manager for Ontario’s Lake Country.

“We’re tying in culinary and agri tourism, working with the local restaurants and accommodations who are offering unique maple-themed packages, producers are opening up their facilities for visitors to learn the process of taping the trees and collecting the sap to make the syrup. The businesses have been very creative and have unique ideas on how to incorporate maple into their business, they have provided a variety of experiences across the region.”

Pick up your passport to plan your own personal maple route, it provides information on each of the businesses, upcoming events and a map to guide you in the right direction. Bring the passport along with you to get special discounts and complimentary treats – and get a stamp at each stop by participating in the program. When you have at least three stamps, you can submit your passport for a chance to win an overnight stay at Forks in the Trail Bed & Breakfast and a basket filled with local maple products.

Discover, taste, see, smell and shop all things maple on the Tap Into Maple Route!

For more information, visit tapintomaple.com.

Ontario’s Lake Country is the Destination Marketing Organization for the municipalities of Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Rama, Ramara and Severn. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, the area is filled with nature’s best - beautiful, sparkling lakes and rivers, spectacular forests and rolling hills, and an expansive trail system. Ontario’s Lake Country offers major Ontario resorts with premier four-season recreation and getaway experiences. A world class casino, hotel and entertainment complex are just around the corner from a charming city where visitors can discover fascinating shops, enjoy showcase theatre, superb dining, and historical sites. Ontario's Lake Country is funded by Casino Rama and the following municipal funding partners; the City of Orillia, Oro-Medonte Township, Rama First Nation, Ramara Township and Severn Township.

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