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Park Exers celebrate spring with maple syrup

Create: 05/03/2016 - 01:49

Spring sprung in all its glory in Park Extension’s Athena Park on Jean Talon St. last Saturday.
With the sun emitting some of its warmest glow yet this year in a blue and cloudless sky, two local community groups had perfect weather for a traditional Québécois sugaring-off party.
Spring was in the air
“This is perfect, the snow is gone, it’s nice out,” said Borough Mayor Anie Samson who arrived during the early afternoon with city councillor Mary Deros. “It’s great for people to be able to enjoy a sugar shack right here in one of our own parks in Park Extension.”
While it was great as a fun and family event in itself, Samson added that a sugaring-off also presents a great opportunity to educate recent newcomers to Park Extension on one of the best-known cultural traditions in French Canada. “A very fine initiative on the part of the organizers,” she said.
Culture and history lesson
“This will teach people the history of how maple syrup is produced, while bringing the Québécois culture to the local diverse citizens of Park Ex,” added Deros. “Today we’re really going to overdose on sugar.”
This was the first year the Alliance familles-école organized a sugaring-off event in Park Extension in conjunction with the Centre des Loisirs du Parc, according to the Alliance’s Premila Ramessur. “This is something completely new for the neighbourhood,” she told Nouvelles Parc Extension News.
Folk dancing lessons
In addition to maple taffy served on snow, the afternoon event also included the preparation of a sweet treat not commonly seen – maple syrup flavoured cotton candy. A group of traditional Québécois folk dancers, Les Danseux, performed and encouraged those who gathered in the park to join them in a celebration of dance for the nascent spring season.

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Martin C. Barry