Sweet celebration for Ida Stalker

Maple fest has been happening for more than 40 years

Published on April 6, 2014

KENZIEVILLE – Some celebrate their birthday with cake. Ida Stalker celebrated hers with maple syrup, and pancakes.


Although not her official birthday, Stalker was serenaded by everyone in the crowded Kenzieville Community Centre during the annual maple syrup festival.

The 97-year-old has been coming to the festival since it began more than 40 years ago, as one of the founders.

“The community spirit is still working. That’s what I like about it,” she said on Saturday, adding that the annual pancake, syrup and sausage brunch brings together the young and the old.

By noon, more than 400 people had come through the community centre to grab some of the homemade pancakes, fresh sausages and local syrup from Antigonish.

The syrup used to come from the Stalker family’s farm, but has been supplied by Haveracres Maple Farm for the past decade.

Although a slower year than most, they were able to supply everyone with what they came for – lots of maple syrup.

“All we can do is hope,” Genevieve Haverkort, mother of the owner of the farm, said about each syrup season.

Organizer Arlene Baker said the event was going well, and on par with last year’s crowd of 500.

It is because of Baker and other volunteers that the festival has kept going, Stalker said.

“She deserves a lot of credit.”

It’s gone from a small event with only one table to more than 50 people waiting to get seated at one of the filled tables while the Pictou County Fiddlers provided the entertainment. 

Stalker said there wasn’t much going on in the community at that time, and she saw a need for events that bring people together.

“You have to have someone that gets out and does it,” she said, adding that it provided an opportunity to make friends and be social.




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