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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Joe LaRue Defends Pancake Title
Maple fest great way to greet spring
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The 38th annual Central New York Maple Festival will run all day Saturday and Sunday in the village as a celebration of spring and sugaring time.

One anticipated highlight of the event is also its opening event: The 12th annual Pancake Eating Contest, which starts at 9 a.m. sharp Saturday in the Marathon HPancakes and fresh maple syrup may be among the best springtime remedies for "cabin fever," and, this weekend in Marathon, there will be no shortage of either.
igh School auditorium.

This 15-minute competition features contestants eating for nonprofit organizations. (Per-pancake pledges were solicited.)
Champion Joe LaRue, 48, now of Sebring, Fla., will be back to defend his title, eating pancakes for Peck Memorial Library.

After you've checked out the competitive eaters, stop and get some breakfast for yourself. Pancake meals will be served both days from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marathon Central School and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., courtesy of the Masons and Eastern Star.

Once you're fortified with flapjacks, go check out all that the festival has to offer: works by than 80 gallery-quality artists and artisans (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday); horse-drawn wagon rides; syrup demonstrations at the Sugar Shack at Lovell Field; entertainment for all ages, including music from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days; a Civil War encampment on the Village Green; and, of course, lots and lots of food, including maple sundaes.

Obviously, you can drive to Marathon. There will be signs directing you to parking areas. But, if you want to add a little more historic flavor to your trip, go to Cortland and ride the rails back to Marathon. The New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway Corp. will run a daily shuttle service from Cortland to Marathon both days. First departure from Cortland is 10 a.m.; final departure from Marathon is 5 p.m. for the 45-minute trip. (Note: There is no train service this year from Binghamton.)

Cost of a round trip is $8 (ages 3-12, $6).

Details: Call 547-2555, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; press "O" for operator.

schedule details

visit www.maplefest.org.

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