Michael Amstutz pours batter at the festival last year.
Steve Zuercher checks the meat temperature at a previous Maple Syrup Festival.
Pastor Mel Hathaway and his wife, Dottie, hold maple syrup at a previous festival at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church.
KIDRON This may sound sappy, but success has stuck to the annual Maple Syrup Festival at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church.
The 24th annual Maple Syrup Festival returns 7-10:30 a.m. April 30 at the church, 14367 Hackett Road, Kidron.
Along with a made-from-scratch pancake and sausage breakfast with dine-in and drive-thru options, the lobby will be full of displays. The junior high-age students in the church’s venture clubs will have a bake sale with all proceeds going to purchase supplies for the tutoring program and summer camp program run by the Open Arms Hispanic Ministries in Wayne County, according to Ken Neuenschwander, chairman of outreach and service ministry.
The festival benefits the mission and missionaries that Sonnenberg Mennonite Church supports: Bridge of Hope/ Liberia, CAMO/Honduras, Camp Luz/Kidron, Lighthouse Mini-stries/Canton, MCC/World Wide, Open Arms Hispanic Ministry/ Wayne County, Oryangurens/ Argentine, People to People/ Wooster, and other mission outreaches.
The breakfast is by donation only.
Displays will be in the foyer so people can learn about the different missions outreaches and see where their donations go.
Those who dine in are welcome to have second helpings of pancakes and sausages. Also, extra maple syrup and packages of sausage are for sale to bring home.
As in previous years, besides maple syrup made from local maple sap, pancakes are made from scratch, and sausage is specially seasoned and stuffed.
The event is for a good cause to help the missions that the church supports, but it also has turned into a popular community event, said Pastor Mel Hathaway.
Hathaway and his wife, Dottie, of Dalton, are getting ready to retire this summer from Sonnenberg Mennonite but they will likely continue to be seen around the area and continue to volunteer or serve in a variety of ways.
Hathaway, who has been pastor at Sonnenberg for 13 years, said that after the festival was put on hold in 2020 because of the pandemic, and then a drive-thru option only was offered in 2021, he is looking forward to having the dine-in option return for church and community members again this year.