A lantern in the snow

Sweetwater Harvest Festival

with the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre

Join the Friends of Wye Marsh and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons for an awesome maple syrup experience March 23 and 24, 2024. The Sweetwater Harvest Festival is the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre’s biggest event of the year – and ONE ticket gets you access to TWO fantastic sites.

Dates and Times:

  • March 23 and 24, 2024
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with timed entry – last admission is at 2:30 p.m.

Parking:

With limited parking available at the Wye Marsh, we suggest you start your Sweetwater experience at Sainte-Marie and consider walking the 10-minutes between the two sites. During the walk, use clues in your event map to find Canadian icons hidden in the forest!

Tickets:

PLEASE NOTE: All tickets must be purchased online through Eventbrite after February 29, 2024. Advanced tickets aren’t required. You can buy your online tickets on the day of your arrival.

  • Early Bird Advanced Tickets: Save $5 per person until 4 p.m. on March 18
    • $12 per adult plus applicable fees
    • $9 per student and senior plus applicable fees
    • Children three and under are FREE
  • Regular tickets: Available March 18 to March 24
    • $17 per adult plus applicable fees
    • $14 per student and senior plus applicable fees
    • Children three and under are FREE
  • All sales are final

What to expect:

Start your Sweetwater Harvest experience at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons:

  • Swing by the Sweetwater Harvest Arts & Crafts Market, where you’ll connect with local artists and artisans selling one-of-a-kind products
  • Explore historical objects and ancient artefacts by completing our indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts
  • Taste delicious cornbread in the cookhouse
  • Try on historical costumes in the Shoemaker/Tailor’s workshop
  • Play Indigenous games in En Pilier and take some home
  • Make your own clay pots and okies
  • Create and decorate a corn husk doll
  • Plant the three sisters for your home garden: corn, beans and squash
  • Watch fascinating birchbark canoe- and basket-building demonstrations
  • Sample historic teas and listen to Indigenous stories in the longhouse
  • Learn the French and Wendat methods for starting fires in the 17th century

Visit Wye Marsh – the birthplace of Sweetwater… and fall in love with our natural heritage!

  • Wander through the Sugar Bush
  • Visit the Sugar Shack to see how sap is turned into liquid gold
  • Roast some Bannock on a stick over an open fire
  • Enjoy delicious maple taffy on snow
  • Test your tastebuds in the new syrup tasting challenge
  • Check out the kids zone where you’ll explore animal pelts, scat, nests and tracks
  • Make a paper Mokuk
  • Listen to Indigenous stories
  • Meet Barefoot Sue!
  • Check out Swan Landing and swan stories
  • Visit the Birds of Prey Field and say hello to the owls, hawks, and eagle
  • Explore forested trails or head out on the boardwalk to see the marsh stir to life after a long winter’s nap
  • Purchase your supply of local maple syrup and honey

In case of high winds or extreme weather

Note that outdoor programs at the Wye Marsh may need to be modified if the trails are closed due to high winds, thunderstorms, or other inclement weather. For example, birds of prey may move inside, sugar shack pans may be relocated to the pavilion, and bannock roasting will take place at Sainte-Marie.

Food options:

There will be a local food truck, selling classics like fries and burgers, in the Sainte-Marie parking lot. Indoor seating will be available at Restaurant Sainte-Marie – where you’ll also find snacks and cold drinks available for purchase at the Snowshoe Café. Many artisans are also selling food products such as baked goods, preserves and sauces.

Apply to be a vendor:

Our events feature handmade, one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts and artisan made products, as well as gourmet food products, tasty treats and baking. Food trucks are also welcome!

Image Gallery:

Please click each image below to see a larger version.

Thanks to our 2024 sponsors!

Logo for S. Charlebois
Logo: Bounce Radio 104.1
PURE country radio logo
Team Jordan logo

While we love our furry friends, we are not able to accommodate pets at this special event (service dogs are welcomed of course). Thank you for your understanding.

  • Admission to Sainte-Marie among the Hurons on March 23 or 24 is included in your Sweetwater Harvest Festival ticket, purchased online through the Wye Marsh.
  • Sainte-Marie is a mask-friendly environment.
  • Taking photos is encouraged.
  • Smoking or vaping (including marijuana) is not permitted on Sainte-Marie property.
  • Most Sweetwater Harvest Festival activities will take place outside so we encourage visitors to dress according to weather conditions.

16164 Highway 12 East, Midland, ON, L4R 4K8

Parking Info

There is ample parking for visitors including those with RVs and buses. Please park in the parking lot provided and make your way to the admissions entrance. We also have bike racks available for cyclists coming from the Tay Trail.

Need more info?

Please contact us at hhp@ontario.ca or (705) 526-7838 if you have any questions.

Ontario’s first European Community, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was the headquarters for the French Jesuit Mission to the Huron-Wendat people. In 1639, the Jesuits, along with French lay workers, began construction of a fenced community that included barracks, a church, workshops, residences, and a sheltered area for Indigenous visitors. This community was abandoned and burned down in 1649.

After extensive archaeological and historical research, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is now recreated on its original site, where the mission’s compelling story is brought to life with costumed historical interpreters, demonstrations and hands-on activities.

Located near Midland, on the Wye River, this world-renowned reconstruction offers visitors a unique opportunity to see the earliest Canadian pioneer life through self-guided visits, group tours, interactive education programs, and special events. Complete your experience by exploring our interpretive museum and themed gift shop.

Friends of Wye Marsh is a not-for-profit charitable organization taking care of 3,000 acres of provincially significant wetlands and federal forests in the Heart of Georgian Bay. This National Wildlife Area and recognized Important Bird Area (IBA) provides habitat for a number of significant species including provincially Threatened Least Bitterns, Species of Special Concern Black Terns, and the famous Trumpeter Swans.

Wye Marsh is the perfect place to Escape – Explore – Experience the area’s natural history as the site includes 25 km of all-season trails, a Birds of Prey field, and Visitors Centre!

For more information on the Wye Marsh, and its environmental education programs and stewardship initiatives, please call 705-526-7809 or visit: www.wyemarsh.com

An indigenous historical interpreter leads a group of young students on a snowshoe through nearby woods

Need more info?

Please contact us if you have any questions: