A Look back at the 1966 Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival

The date is April 13, 1966. That day’s issue of the Shepherd Argus reported that plans were underway for that year’s Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival. But, the festival that year was different from the ones that we’ve had in recent years. For starters, in 1966 the festival lasted one day. It also featured skydivers, a pony pull, sky divers, a record hop, and a dance featuring Machuta’s Top Tuners dance combo.

Some events that were featured back then which will be held during this year’s festival are the Pancakes and Sausage meals, the parade, and antique car show. The Maple Syrup Pageant Queens were featured participants in the parade, along with the high school band and floats.

I’m looking for stories about what it was like to attend a Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival in the 1960’s. Did you watch the skydivers? Or attend a record hop?

Maple Syrup Program Complete

Shepherd Argus

April 13, 1966

Shepherd’s Annual Maple Syrup Festival will be held all day Saturday, April 23 and will include the most extensive program ever offered at Festival time.

Of course, the center attraction of the day will be the parade at 1:00 P. M. with the Festival Queen, and her court of lovely gals. However, the pancakes will start to be devoured at 7:00 A, M. at the Shepherd High School cafeteria and continue all through the day. Additional space has been provided for the crowd of approximately 3000 expected here this year.

The Program for the day, will begin at 10:00 A.M. with the registration of the antique cars that have been a popular attraction in previous years and will Include several new “old models” this year. Following the registration, the old cars will be placed on display on Wright Avenue, where a block will be shut off to auto traffic in the cause of safety.

At 12:30 a Sky Diving act will be presented as the thrill act of the Day, and at 1:00 o’clock the parade, which will include, and be headed by the Shepherd High School Band, and possible othen, followed by the Festival Queen and her Court. in addition, the parade will Include Clowns, Old Cars, Ponies and floats.

At 3:00 P. M. a new attraction, a pony pull, will entertain the crowd and we will be treated to the second Sky Dive at 4:00 P. M.

The evening attractions will begin with a Teen-Age “Record Hop” at the Junior high gym with “Rapid Robert” of radio station WCEN as M.C. From 9:30 until 1:30 there will be a dance at the V. F. W. Hall featuring the music of Machuta’s Top Tuners dance combo.

The Festival Committee, under the leadership of chairman Gerald Faman and co-chairman Irene Doepker, have made every effort to make this year’s Festival the best to date and a look at the program will make their success apparent.

Of course, the Famous Shepherd Maple Syrup, along with those delicious pancakes and sausage will still be the main feature of tie day. Nearly 700 gallons of the extra special maple syrup has been put in cans and while a lot of it has already been sold, there will be plenty available for public sale on Festival Day.


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