Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.
You know, located just across from the Maine State House, the Blaine House – where I spend most of my weekdays – has been home to every Governor of Maine since Carl Milliken and his family moved in back in January 1920.
The Blaine House grounds have also long been home to a large old maple tree in the front yard, a tree that Maine’s governors have tapped each spring for sap that can be boiled into delicious maple syrup.
This past Monday, with the help of Maine Maple Producers Association President Lyle Merrifield and with students from Westbrook’s Congin Elementary School watching, I was proud to once again tap the Blaine House maple tree and kick off Maine’s maple season.
Maine is home to 520 producers licensed to sell maple products who produce more than 575,000 gallons of syrup every year. That makes our state the third largest producer of maple syrup in the country. Producing and selling maple syrup generates more than $55.6 million in economic activity and supports more than 800 full-time and part-time jobs every year. And if you’ve ever been to a sap house, you know how hard and fast those people work.
So, just two weekends from now – March 25th and 26th – sugar shacks across our state will open their doors for one of my favorite Maine traditions: the 40th annual Maine Maple Sunday weekend.
This year, more than 100 locations across Maine will host Maple Sunday Weekend events showcasing a wide variety of syrups and sweets. Maple producers across our state will host free family events where visitors learn all about maple syrup and how it’s made.
Events this year include boiling demonstrations, sugar woods tours, live music, horse-drawn hayrides, maple products for sale – not to mention pancake breakfasts, maple donuts, and plenty of maple products to sample.
Whether you prefer dark and rich or pale gold and delicate flavors, there’s a syrup for everyone’s taste.
I hope you’ll join me in visiting one of our extraordinary sugarhouses later this month during Maine Maple Sunday weekend. A full list of Maine Maple Producers can be found online at MaineMapleProducers.com. That’s MaineMapleProducers.com
Since 2015, Maple Syrup has been Maine’s “official state sweetener.” Whether you use your Maine maple syrup on pancakes or waffles, on carrots or Brussel sprouts, or on traditional maple snow candy – Maine maple syrup always makes life a little bit sweeter.
This is Governor Janet Mills. Thank you for listening, and don’t forget to turn your clock ahead this weekend.