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Maple producers plan a sweet weekend

Visitors crowded into steaming sugar shanties throughout the North Country on Saturday and Sunday for the state's annual Maple Weekend.

This year the festivities will continue for a second weekend, with sugar bushes opening their doors for another round this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors praised the sweet golden syrup and other maple products on Sunday at the Uihlein Maple Forest in Lake Placid.

Anne Baker, a 12 year-old native of New York City sampled her first spool of maple cotton candy.

She said it was her first trip to a sugar bush.

"It's really cool how they get all the stuff from the trees to the bottle," she said.

Maple producers report that the weather has been perfect for making maple syrup, with plenty of cold nights and sunny, above freezing days.

Jane Yancey, who operates Yancey's Sugarbush with her husband Haskel, said they did their first boil in mid-March and have already produced several hundred gallons of syrup.

"We've had a really nice start so far," Jane said, adding that they've got plenty of maple products ready for the crowd this coming weekend.

Yancey's Sugar bush is a traditional maple producer that has been in continuous production for over 160 years. Not much has changed since they started making maple syrup before the Civil War. They still use metal buckets and a team of workhorses to gather the maple sap. The sap is boiled over a wood fire in old-fashioned open pans.

Yancey's is located at the Western edge of the Adirondacks in Lewis County and producers in that region are planning a sweet weekend.

There will be a pancake breakfast at the Maple Museum in Croghan from 7 a.m. until noon on Saturday and Sunday. Dozens of sugar bushes in the area will tempt visitors with maple syrup, maple cream and maple sugar cookies.

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