SKOWHEGAN — A full 10 days of family activities is on tap beginning today for this year’s Maple Festival, all leading up to Maine Maple Sunday, on March 25.

“It just makes sense that we celebrate the products we’re known for and are so proud of. We’re shaking off the winter blues and offering some fun for all ages,” according to Jennifer Olsen, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan.

Events sponsored by Main Street Skowhegan begin with an annual rite of spring on Friday — opening day at Gifford’s Ice Cream at noon, with a free regular cone from 6-8 p.m.

On Saturday, Heather Davis of Cayford Orchards will coordinate the second annual maple recipe cook-off at the Farmers’ Market next the Somerset Grist Mill. The cook-off is from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and there is a $5 registration fee. A $50 prize will be awarded to the winner in the adult category and in the under-15 category.

Local events culminate with the annual, pancake maple breakfast from 7-10 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at Tewksbury Hall, behind the Federated Church on Island Avenue, Olsen said. Locally raised breakfast foods will be prepared and served by culinary arts students from the high school. Breakfast is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12.

Other festival highlights include an ice cream social at the Skowhegan Free Public library at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a Taste of Maple Contest at Blue Wave Martial Arts on Water Street from 6-8 p.m.

Starting Monday, Redington-Fairview General Hospital will begin a week of maple items on its cafeteria menu, which is open to the public.

The launch of the new Downtown Walking Club is at noon Thursday. The club is part of the workplace wellness program at Somerset Heart Health in the former Bangor Savings Bank in the municipal parking lot.

Olsen said there will be maple festival-related specials all week at The Bankery, Skowhegan Fleuriste, Heritage House and Old Mill Pub.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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