Friday, March 20, 2015
Skowhegan Maple Fest 2015
My children, also known as Unorganized Hancock, are performing at the Skowhegan Maple Festival tomorrow, for the second year in a row. They'll be performing at the Skowhegan Opera House, which is a pretty neat theater. Here's a video of them performing there last year:
It's terrific to play on real stage with a curtain and footlights and all that jazz.
Skowhegan is a nice little city filled with pleasant people. Unorganized Hancock has performed in more places in Skowhegan than in the town we live in. They've performed at the Skowhegan Riverfest in the summer, and at the Pickup Cafe, and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Skowhegan is a friendly place, and I hope we return the favor by bringing three friendly faces there -- The Heir, The Spare, and Slim McGillicuddy, the fellow holding the sign.
Skowhegan participates in a Main Street program that runs here and there around Maine. They do civic things to lure people out of their lairs, especially when the weather's good. The Maple Festival is supposed to celebrate the culmination of sugaring season in Maine. There's a problem.
There is no sugaring season in Maine, and there might not be one this year to speak of. During the Maple Festivals, the sugar houses of small to medium-sized maple syrup producers open their doors for a pseudo-open-house look at how they make syrup, and to sell their wares to the public. There are no wares this year because there is no sugar. In order to get the maple sap that gets boiled endlessly down into syrup, the temperature has to rise above 32 degrees Farenheit for more than ten minutes at a time, and it hasn't done so. The temperature at my house was below zero last night, and the temperature has been 5-10 degrees below normal every month for two years. I've read that sugar houses are opening up for the Maple Festival and simply boiling water from the tap to show people what maple sugar season would look like if we had one, which we don't.
We'll drive all day in the snow squalls tomorrow, and on Sunday the temperature will be 22 degrees below normal. But the show must -- it will -- go on. I don't know how the show can go on for my neighbors with the empty sap buckets, but I wish them well all the same.