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Wet winter means plenty of sap for Illinois syrup festival

maple syrup in glass bottle on wooden table

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Experts say a wetter winter means that sap production is looking good for this weekend’s Touch of Nature Maple Syrup Festival in southern Illinois.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that warm, dry weather negatively affected sap production last year, leading to a syrup shortage. But Touch of Nature Environmental Center marketing director Patrick Jones says that this season “the sap has been running like crazy on the trees that we’ve been tapping.” Temperatures need to be in the 20s overnight and near 50 during the day for proper sap flow.

The festival runs Saturday and Sunday at the center. Visitors will be able to see how trees are tapped for sap that’s turned into maple syrup. There also will be a climbing wall, lumberjack presentations, hikes and blacksmith demonstrations.