Highland County Maple Festival is a First Place Winner – Again


According to a press release from the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, the Highland County Maple Festival is a First-Place Winner in Best of Virginia 2021.

The Maple Festival has been voted as this year’s first-place winner for Best Food or Drink Festival of the Shenandoah Valley Region in Virginia Living Magazine’s tenth annual Best of Virginia issue.  The festival is receiving the distinction for the second consecutive year.  The statewide guide to all that is “best” in Virginia dining, shopping, and doing, Best of Virginia 2021 lists the more than 1,500 winners from the magazine’s Readers’ Survey, which was conducted in January.  Nearly 53,000 people voted in 111 categories, covering the best in Living & Recreation, Food & Drink, Shopping, and Services across the Commonwealth.

Since 1958, visitors have been drawn to Highland County to tour real maple sugar camps for a cultural and culinary adventure during the annual Highland County Maple Festival.  Tens of thousands of visitors are drawn to the unspoiled, rural mountain community each year to celebrate the “opening” of the trees and experience arts and crafts, food and entertainment. In 1999, The Library of Congress designated The Highland County Maple Festival a “Local Legacy.”  In 2014, the Governor of Virginia signed a bill into law designating the festival as the “official maple festival of Virginia.”

“The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is once again humbled to have the Maple Festival chosen for this distinction,” says Executive Director, Chris Swecker.  “The fact is not lost on us that readers have chosen our festival even though it has been cancelled the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Despite all the challenges of last year, this award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of every maple syrup producer, business, organization, vendor, and volunteer.  For over sixty years, people have been positively impacted by the Maple Festival with memories and traditions.  This honor provides us even more motivation as we plan for the 2022 Highland County Maple Festival and sharing pure Virginia maple syrup with visitors and residents for years to come.  Thank you to everyone for your support.”

For more information on the Highland County Maple Festival and the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, visit www.highlandcounty.org.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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