One of the things Betsy and I both miss from our more rural childhoods are the kind of rural festivals and fairs that you sometimes see. I have fond memories of going to the county fair in Kansas to see what a prize winning sheep or heifer or pig looks like. We also used to go to a festival celebrating steam-powered machines (mostly tractors) of various kinds. We both have a hankering for an old fashioned fruit-themed fair some some kind. A Peach Fair, for instance, should feature every kind of peach-based food imaginable: pies, preserves, chutneys, stews, etc., etc. Someone should show off their collection of dried peaches that resemble celebrity faces. A local church should be doing a bake sale. Alas, the peach festival we attended last summer in Winona was a huge disappointment. It was muddy. Parking was hard to find. And most of the booths were selling things that had nothing to do with peaches (like hot tubs and clocks made from driftwood).
So I was delighted to read on the Seasonal Ontario Food blog about the Holstein Maplefest. This 15th Annual event, sponsored by the "Egremont Optimist Club," is exactly the kind of celebration of a single food that you might expect. The people that run it are just as interesting in demonstrating rural crafts and the versatility of maple sap as they are in selling home-smoked sausages and kettlecorn. Ferdzy's blog article about their time at the festival includes lots of wonderful pictures.