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Riley at IU Health Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Havlik, Will Open National Maple Syrup Festival

The sweet taste of maple syrup will be flowing at the National Maple Syrup Festival on the first two weekends in March, and all the proceeds from the festival – going to The Heads Up!!! Foundation – will literally help put a sweet smile on the face of hundreds of children born with cleft palates and other facial anomalies.

"Each year this event brings much needed support to enhance the research and patient care activities of the Cleft & Craniofacial Anomalies Team at Riley at IU Health. I am honored to be a part of it," says Robert J. Havlik, M.D., medical director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery Program.

Because sugar time starts first in southern Indiana, the season kicks off with the National Maple Syrup Festival in Medora, Indiana. Thousands of visitors will sample the many tasty treats including maple pork chops and maple baked beans, and yes, pancakes smothered in real maple syrup! Visitors will also be entertained and educated by Bluegrass music, history re-enactors, crafts, artwork, the world’s greatest pancake flipper (according to Guinness), as well as, artisan foods and syrups to sample and purchase. Events are ongoing and take place inside the local school and in the maple groves at Burton’s Maplewood Farm where over 700 maple trees are tapped for the farm’s artisanal barrel-aged syrup creations. Shuttle buses are available to take visitors between the two venues. 

While most of the events are free to the public, food prices are reasonable and shuttle service is $10 for adults, $8 for children and $6 seniors, children under 4 are free. Bring a canned good item and get $2 off the shuttle fee (One can per person per discount).

Thanks in part to our sponsor, King Arthur Flour, the National Maple Syrup Festival has been growing with more to taste, see, and do. One of the highlights of the festival is the Sweet Victory Challenge recipe contest where local cooks prepare maple syrup recipes sent in from around the country. Judged by professional chefs and sampled by lucky visitors, recipe contestants compete to win cash prizes. Visit the Sweet Victory Challenge to enter a recipe by February 28. 

Trish Severns, MA

Author of this Article

Trish is the Cleft and Craniofacial Program Coordinator for Riley at IU Health. She is active in the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association where she serves on the Cleft Palate Foundation Leadership Award Committee.

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