Maple Fest: A Lasting Legacy

Maple Fest: A Lasting Legacy

Every spring as the weather begins to warm and the first flowers sprout up, Maple Fest begins to take shape. Beginning in the 1980’s by former director, Pete Heintzelman, Maple Fest has been a constant for many camp families, friends and the local community. Although, over the past 40 or so years, Maple Fest has taken different shapes and forms, it has always been a day centered on being together, experiencing camp, and, of course, pancakes. 

At it’s beginning, Maple Fest aimed to bring people to camp during a slower time of year. This space allowed Covenant Harbor the perfect time to do an event focused around serving the local community. These first years were weekend long maple sugar festivals which emphasized fundraising through maple syrup production and education to the local community while also offering a pancake breakfast.

In the late 1980’s Maple Fest shifted from a weekend-long event to a one day Saturday event. The pancake breakfast continued and activities were still emphasized while the focus changed from making large amounts of maple syrup to teaching with small amounts through maple tours. 

After a brief lapse in the late 1990’s, a new iteration of Maple Fest began in 2004. With, now current director, Eric Anderson leading the way. The new season of Maple Fest started the Sunday tradition but held tights to the original goals of being a community oriented event. 

During these first years back, the iconic pancake and syrup bottle costumes were made, once again by Eric Anderson. Opportunities for guests to not only eat pancakes but to try out various classic camp activities and more. Things like archery, arts and crafts, and the giant swing gave everyone a taste of what camp had to offer. Not only that, Covenant Harbor began to showcase various local vendors in different iterations of markets. There were even years with hot air balloon and helicopter rides! 

This continued steadily until 2020 when Maple Fest quickly shifted at the beginning of the pandemic to be “Virtual Maple Fest”. After that, the Outdoor Market was born bringing in more local vendors and selling camp pancake mix to make at home. 

While Maple Fest has grown and evolved over the years, some things have never changed. Maple Fest allows us to open our property for a family friendly event, with delicious treats and a rich history. If you would like to experience Maple Fest at Covenant Harbor join us this Sunday March 17, from 7:30am-2pm.

Tickets are available here!