Chardon - A sure sign that spring is around the corner is the Geauga County Maple Festival. It is a celebration of the year’s maple season and the place where maple syrup producers showcase their best syrup. The festival will take place April 24 – 27 on Historic Chardon Square.
One of the highlights of the festival is the two huge parades. They step off at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The theme this year is “Spring’s Golden Sunshine – Maple!” There will be floats, horses, old cars, new cars and lots of fire trucks.
The Saturday Parade Marshall will be Aggie Sojka of Hambden. Sojka has been involved with maple her entire life but now she has proved that the best maple syrup in the world comes from Geauga County. Her medium amber maple syrup produced in Parkman was awarded a first place at the International Maple Syrup Institute annual meeting in October in Delta Beausejour, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Sojka was inducted into the Geauga County Maple Festival Hall of Fame in 2011. Her late husband, Mark Sperry, was inducted in 1995.
Sunday’s Parade Marshall will be WOIO weatherman Jeff Tanchak. As a native of Buffalo, New York, Tanchak understood lake effect weather and the impact it has on an area. In his spare time he enjoys golf and the Indians.
Also riding in the parade will be the 2014 Maple Hall of Fame inductee Tom Blair of Burton.
This will be the 86th edition of the Geauga County Maple Festival. The Festival began in 1926 by a group of Chardon businessmen to increase awareness of the areas maple syrup and increase maple sales. In the late 1940’s there were three years that no festival was held due to the war and lack of maple syrup. Come join the fun and celebrate “Springs Golden Sunshine – Maple” and the wonderful maple season. For a complete list of festival events and times visit www.maplefestival.com.