December 5, 2021

Line flows at Maplefest

Drive-through event draws hundreds to Marathon

Jamie L. Costa/staff reporter

Cars line up Saturday outside Appleby Elementary School in Marathon for this year’s Central New York Maple Festival.

Hundreds of cars lined Albro Road in Marathon on Saturday, waiting hours to place their orders as smells from the drive-through Central New York Maple Festival wafted through open windows.

Vendors and food trucks stationed on the bus loop at the William Appleby Elementary School sold fried Oreos, French fries and other fair food while maple producers sold their signature products.

By 1:15 p.m., 203 cars had passed through with an average wait time of two hours, said Maple Festival Committee member Karen Burns.

“We had our first car at 8:34 a.m. for our 9 a.m. opening,” Burns said. “It’s been consistently steady and we are pleased with the turnout.”

Even though the festival was supposed to end at 3 p.m., Burns said they planned to stay open until the last car was served, or their products ran out.

This year’s Maple Queen, Madison Clark, 17, and her court greeted each car as they drove up the bus loop, trying to keep spirits high during the long wait, Clark said. Ten girls competed for the title Friday night.

“We’ve been here since 11:30 a.m.,” said Terry Reynolds of Marathon, who reached the order line at 1:30 p.m. “We want to support our town and we want our maple products.”

The Reynolds family was disappointed by last year’s cancelation and was excited to have this family event back, Reynolds said. The family ordered fried Oreos, hot dogs, roasted peanuts, fried pickles and kettle corn.

Jamie L. Costa/staff reporter

Marathon Central School District Superintendent Rebecca Stone takes the drive-through order of Terry Reynolds on Saturday at the Maple Festival.

When cars got to the ordering point of the line, a student, school representative or Maple Festival Committee member took their order and issued them a number to place on their dashboards.

As orders were completed, students ran them to the cars with the corresponding numbers.

Last year, the money was distributed to graduating students for scholarships and computers, said freshman class adviser Sarah Harden. In past years, the money was used for the seniors’ all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World.

“The seniors have five options this year; two day trips, two local overnight trips in either New York City or Boston or the money can go toward COVID scholarships,” said Marathon School District Superintendent Rebecca Stone. “The students are still working with their advisers to determine their trip plans.”

The students begin raising funds their freshman year, Stone said.

Although the Reynolds family wouldn’t choose to spend waiting in their car for two hours on a sunny Saturday, they wanted to support their school community, Reynolds said. Her granddaughter is a student at Marathon High School.

“I hope it’s back to normal next year,” Reynolds said.