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PORTER — Enjoy a taste of spring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's 39th annual Maple Sugar Time festival. In addition to the free, ranger-led tours of the sugaring operation at historic Chellberg Farm, a pancake breakfast will be available for purchase from the Chesterton Lion's Club. The farm will be bustling with maple sugaring activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends of March 4-5 and March 11-12.

One-hour tours start every 20 minutes each day. Learn how Native Americans first boiled maple sap into sugar and how early settlers used large iron kettles to make syrup. Then, stand in the warm steam of the sugar shack where sap is still boiled down the way the Chellberg family did it back in the 1930s. Try your hand at drilling a tap hole, lugging heavy sap buckets using an old-fashioned yoke, or just enjoying a free taste of pure maple syrup.

Warm up in the farm house and collect recipes featuring maple syrup. Pure maple syrup and sugar, and related products like maple-flavored popcorn and maple water, will be for sale on site. You can even learn how to make maple syrup at home and how modern maple sugar farmers use advanced technology to make syrup today.

Chellberg Farm is on Mineral Springs Road between U.S. 20 and U.S. 12. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, call 219-395-1882 or visit www.nps.gov/indu.

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