Highland County Maple Festival back this weekend and next

Highland County Maple Festival
Highland County Maple Festival(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 11:42 PM EST
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HIGHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The maple festival kicks off Saturday in Highland County.

Just over an hour from Harrisonburg, this festival brings thousands from all over to the least populated county in Virginia for two consecutive weekends.

This county-wide festival is for anyone with a sweet tooth.

“Highland County is one of the most southernmost places where you can actually make maple syrup in the U.S. consistently because of our mountain elevation here,” Chris Swecker, executive director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce said.

It is something this small county has become well known for.

“You have a freezing and thawing cycle that allows maple syrup to be made and since 1959 we’ve had the maple festival,” Swecker said.

Although Highland County may experience some of that freezing and thawing this weekend -- the festival will go on.

“It’s held rain, snow, shine, wind, again because we’re so spread out and there’s indoor and outdoor areas,” Swecker said.

The festival offers a variety of different activities throughout the county, like sugar camp tours, arts and crafts vendors from 10 different states and tons of maple-flavored food.

“It’s the county’s biggest fundraiser for sure for the whole year a lot of the small businesses and non-profits and civic clubs that help out to make it all possible -- it really keeps them going through the year and supports everyone,” Swecker said.

In an economic study done by Virginia Tech in 2022, they determined spending in Highland was between $1.36 million and $2.02 million.

“It’s a huge deal and we’re glad to show people kind of these traditional ways,” Swecker said.

The festival will be on March 11, 12, 18, and 19.