ST. JOSEPH -- Local events are offering a "sweet" way to start the spring tomorrow (Saturday) with maple syrup tours at Kraemer Lake/Wildwood Park and the Maple Syrup Festival at St. John's Abbey Arboretum.

The event at Kraemer Lake is free to the public and features an open house tour of a family-owned maple syrup operation that has collected sap for over 20 years.

The tour shows how 16,000 gallons of sap collected from 600 trees is converted into maple syrup through a wood-fired evaporator.

The Maple Syrup Festival is hosted by St. John's Outdoor University and features sap collection, wagon rides, and free hot maple syrup sundaes.

Both maple syrup events run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. To make reservations at Kraemer Lake, send an email to Shelly Carlson at or call 320-363-7784.

Walk-ins are welcome at St. John's festival, but pre-registering will cut the admission price from $11 to $6.