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Downtown Paris celebrates a sweet tradition

Local NewsDowntown Paris celebrates a sweet tradition

Thousands of local residents and out-of-town visitors attended the Paris Lions Club’s annual Maple Syrup Festival in Paris on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

The fundraiser festival was first held on April 14, 2012, and has since taken place every year with the exception of two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Darryl and Marylou Klein of Klein’s Maple Syrup and Supplies, show off a few of their maple goodies during the Paris Lions Club’s annual Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Despite Saturday’s initial cloudy weather, attendees took advantage of the afternoon sunshine to stroll around the Grand River St. North strip.

“Considering the weather, we’ve had a really good crowd. It’s been a successful day so far and it’s just been great to get the community coming down for a visit,” said Rod Laframboise, president of the Paris Lions Club. “We’ve lined the streets with around 45 different vendors, and we’ve got all the multiple businesses out here who are supporting this too.”

One guest shops from Cranston’s Maple Farm during the Paris Lions Club’s annual Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

From the live music of Frisky Business to line dancing with Joan Minnery, stilt walkers, Disney princesses, artisan vendors, food trucks and more, there was plenty to see and do throughout the eight-hour event.


As always, the Lions Club members were on-site serving up their famous lions’ pancake recipe, alongside sausages donated by Strodes. While many were sure to line up early for the breakfast, some took the opportunity to indulge in other festival treats like churros, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and poutine.

Leanne Hasler and Jennifer Sallans pose for a photo with a few of their Maple Tap Farm products during the Paris Lions Club’s annual Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a maple syrup festival without the many vendors such as Maple Tap Farms, who sold a variety of maple goodies to go.

As recent winners of Producer of the Year at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, Jennifer Sallans said that it’s the experience that makes the amber syrup so enjoyable.

“It’s about the attention to detail,” she said. “All producers have the ability to make great maple syrup, but I think it’s part of the experience that my father-in-law, Wallace, passed down that plays a big part of it too.”

Residents browse a variety of hats during the Paris Lions Club’s annual Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

She said that for the family, it’s all about getting together and having fun.

“My father-in-law started when he was 13 years old and he made syrup for over 50 years until he passed away this past fall,” said Jennifer Sallans, of Maple Tap Farms. “In return, my husband grew up making it, doesn’t know a springtime without it and I married into it. It’s a ton of work, but you wouldn’t do it if you didn’t love it and, for us, it’s just a fun family time where we get aunts, uncles and cousins involved.”

Members of the Paris Lions Club smile for a photo after a busy breakfast rush during the Paris Lions Club’s annual Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024.
Guests line up to receive a balloon animal during the Paris Lions Club’s annual Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

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