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March 23, 2014

Locals enjoy first of two Maple Weekends

Breakfast event offers chance to talk tourism, local traditions

WEST CHAZY — The first weekend in spring marked a celebration of a locally produced delicacy loved by many.

“It’s delicious,” said 13-year-old Grant Moravec of Plattsburgh as he ate pancakes drizzled with maple syrup at a breakfast held Saturday at Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy.

The day kicked off the first of two Maple Weekends, a statewide initiative to boost tourism.

“We like to come every year,” Moravec’s father, Todd, said of the pancake breakfast. “It’s nice to be able to take your family and enjoy something like this — something unique to the area.”

While temperatures hovered around freezing, breakfasters stayed warm inside a building heated with a wood stove.

Also part of the group were Grant’s brother Blake Moravec, 10, and their friend Tyler VanWeort, 10, of Plattsburgh.

As a California native, Todd appreciates the maple syrup business as exclusive to New York and the surrounding area.

“You don’t have things like this in California,” he said. “It’s a wonderful industry.”

‘OVERSHADOWED’

However, many don’t associate maple syrup with New York state.

“New York is often overshadowed by Vermont,” Todd said. “Vermont maple syrup has been a world-famous name, or at least a nationally recognized name, and New York puts out a lot of maple syrup, and it’s great. It’d be nice to see New York get more of the attention it deserves.”

Lawmakers who spoke at the event agreed.

“We are in stiff competition with Quebec and Vermont,” said Congressman Bill Owens. “We want to make sure New York gets well known as a great place to buy maple syrup.”

“We’re one of the largest producers in the whole country of maple syrup, and certainly ours is the best,” said State Sen. Betty Little. 

‘GREAT FAMILY WEEKEND’

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