The Scene

The Local Scene: Learn how to create maple syrup directly from trees in Marengo

Tap into maple tree sap and try out Sri Lankan foods this weekend in McHenry County.

Steve Burrow lifts his son, Sylvan, 5, of McHenry, up so he can sample fresh sap from a sugar maple tree during the McHenry County Conservation District’s annual Festival of the Sugar Maples on Monday, March 6, 2023, at Coral Woods Conservation Area in Marengo.

Here are five things to do this weekend:

Festival of Sugar Maples: Learn how to create maple syrup with the McHenry County Conservation District from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday through Monday at the Coral Woods Conservation Area in Marengo. The free event provides demonstrations, tours and hands-on activities covering the process of turning maple tree sap into maple syrup. Learn about the history of maple sugaring and the evolution of the sap-collecting process. Attendees can try out tapping their own tree while taking a half-mile stroll through the woodlands. Maple syrup and other maple products will be available to buy. For details and to register for a tour, visit

Spirit Pull: Join Veterans Path to Hope for the fourth annual Spirit Pull from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the McHenry Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4600, 3002 Route 120, McHenry. Enjoy tastings from local craft distillers such as Rush Creek Distillery, Whiskey Acres and Spirit Water. Try out vendor offerings including gourmet popcorn, nuts and cigars. Appetizers will be available, and food trucks will be on-site for those looking for heartier options. All proceeds go to support the nonprofit Veterans Path to Hope. General admission tickets are $20, and VIP tickets are $100. For information and to buy tickets, visit

Taste of Sri Lanka: Fill your belly at the Taste of Sri Lanka fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake. Try out traditionally prepared Sri Lankan dishes such as parrippu and roti. The event will have plenty of raffle prizes, a live auction and a 50/50 cash raffle. All proceeds go to support the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center in Woodstock. Tickets are $40. Visit for information and to buy tickets.

Bingo fundraiser: Try your luck at a bingo fundraiser from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Grand Oaks Recreation Center in Crystal Lake. The Change Their Luck bingo event will raise money to support On Angels’ Wings Pet Rescue. Raffles, cash prizes, food and beverage will be at the 21-and-older event. Lisa “Little Lisa” Kaber, former bass player of Dot Dot Dot, will be the bingo emcee for a night of fun and winning. Tickets range from $25 to $30. For details and to buy tickets, visit

Winter volleyball tournament: Get competitive at 3D Sideout’s winter volleyball tournament starting at 11 a.m. Sunday at 3D Sideouts Sports Tavern in Island Lake. Teams of six people will play for the top spot in beach volleyball. Hot chocolate, a chili bar, beer and beverages will be available at the event along with drink specials. Tickets are $150 for a co-ed team of six. For information and to register a team, visit

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Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois