Elmira, Ontario – Every year in early spring tens of thousands of people pour into the sleepy southwestern community of Elmira (pop. 12,000) to celebrate ‘The World’s Largest One Day Maple Syrup Festival’. That recognition was given by the Guinness Book of Records when in 2000 attendance hit a record 66,529 people. The event is operated by 2,000 volunteers and not only helps to promote local maple syrup producers, it raises funds for local charities. You can learn about the tradition of making maple syrup and enjoy a host of other activities: sugarbush tours, a quilt and craft show, a toy show and sale, children’s theatre, wagon rides, an antique sale, a pancake flipping relay race, and a dog show. It is usually held close to the Saturday in April.
The ‘laid back’ rural community of Elmira is 7 km from St. Jacobs (known for its Mennonite history and huge year-round farmer’s market and outlet mall), and 15 km north of the city of Waterloo. The Mennonites migrated to this region from Pennsylvania and today you can still find horses and buggies in the parking lot at the local grocery store, and buy hand-made quilts directly from residents. In addition to quilt shopping, summertime visitors can enjoy hiking, cycling, golf, canoeing and fly fishing in the region. Accommodation is available at bed and breakfasts and country inns. Malcolm Gladwell, author of bestseller “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference”, was raised in Elmira. In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazineʼs 100 most influential people.
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95 Arthur Street South, Elmira, ON N3B, Canada