Last weekend we hopped in the car and drove to New Park, Pennsylvania for the Sunflower Festival at Maple Lawn Farms! We arrived around 9:30, hoping to beat the crowds and the impending weather. We lucked out on the weather front, besides the heat and humidity (but beggars can’t be choosers), and 50/50 in regards to crowds. The fields are vast and extensive, so there was no problem finding our own space to snap a few pics and sections to cut sunflowers! There were a few minor glitches, but nothing to fret about! Read on for the inside scoop on the Sunflower Festival at Maple Lawn Farms! If you’re thinking about attending the event for their second weekend, you don’t want to miss this!
When we arrived, we turned in our passes at the booth for wristbands and sunflower tickets, then we climbed on to the wagon for a quintessential hayride to the event! Whether you plan to purchase tickets upon arrival or purchased them in advance, walk directly to the booth to get your wristband. You’ll need to wear this on your wrist for the duration of the event. And you will be given a ticket for however many sunflowers you plan to clip. When the wagon arrived at the event (just across a small road and field), we hopped off and walked directly to the white tent to get clippers for cutting our sunflowers. Unfortunately, they ran out of clippers; however, another festival go-er was finishing up, so she handed us hers. Our group shared them, but I would recommend bringing a set for yourself, especially if you’re arriving after 10 because the festival seemed to triple in size after just an hour.
We quickly started wandering the fields, and frolicking…there was a lot of frolicking! How often do you get to frolic in sunflower fields with no end in sight?! I was soaking up every second! Let me tell you it was hot, and we were sweaty! But we were so distracted by the many (28) unique varieties of sunflowers that grow at Maple Lawn! From Teddy Bears to Florenzas, Moulin Rouges to ProCut Golds, there is a sunflower to suit everyone’s individual tastes. My new favorite is the Teddy; I hadn’t heard of them prior to seeing them at the festival. They are so dense and full of vibrant color, a unique twist on sunflowers! I love that they are a little outside the box!
After gathering our sunflowers, we all needed a refreshment and shade to give us some relief from the heat. All the girls sat at a picnic table under a large tent and listened to live music from a local band while the guys grabbed refreshments. It was just before 11, but a few of us were feeling frisky and opted for the spiked cider (if you couldn’t tell from the photos, one of the girls is pregnant, so we had a designated driver should we need one), however, the girl working at the booth told us they could not serve the spiked cider until 11. We were fine with that and planned to pop back over and grab one to share when the time came. But then we asked for a regular cider and they said the machine was not ready yet. It seemed like maybe they hadn’t turned it on early enough because those machines take some time to get going. Considering it was the second full day of the festival, this was a little disappointing. I feel like those kinks get worked out on day 1. Only a minor glitch though. So we opted for waters and of course could not resist the homemade in house donuts. They have classic cider donuts but also some other fun flavors, including blueberry. I had a bite of the classic and the blueberry and they were absolutely delicious! If you go, you must get one to snack on, or grab a whole container to take home! You will not be disappointed!
After relaxing for a bit, a few of us headed back in to the fields to capture the last bit of photos! At this point, it was well after 11 and one of the guys went back to the tent to get a spiked cider, but there was a different woman at the booth and she told him they couldn’t serve it til noon. I hate getting mixed messages, especially at large events like this festival. But it wasn’t a huge deal, so we moved on. Just something to keep in mind if you are planning to go to the festival and want to enjoy a glass of wine or spiked cider.
We had a pregnant girl in the group (so we were especially concerned for her in the heat), but really all of us were ready to hit the road at this point because the heat was getting to us. If it weren’t so hot and we didn’t have plans for the afternoon, we would’ve stayed and enjoyed the life music and beautiful view longer! We probably would have played some corn hole and tasted some wine as well. But all the more reason to return to the farm later in the season for other events like the Harvest Fest! Before we walked back to our cars, we each purchased a $5 bucket for our sunflowers. We were taking home several bundles of sunflowers, so it seemed easier and reasonable enough to just purchase a bucket to get them home in water. I had every intention of bringing my own container, but in the rush of getting out the door, forgot it. I would recommend taking your own container or purchasing one of their buckets so you aren’t struggling to keep them upright on your ride home. If you are only clipping a few flowers, they will tie a small bag filled with water around the base of your flowers to keep them from wilting on your drive home.
Things we loved:
many varieties of sunflowers
delicious in house donuts
plenty of open space
hayride to field
limiting ticket sales (to avoid overcrowding in fields)
Things to improve:
working apple cider machine
consistent information regarding refreshments
All in all, it was a wonderful morning at the Sunflower Fest at Maple Lawn Farms and I would highly recommend it to adults, kids, and families alike and to anyone who is a lover of sunflowers! You can check out all the details to plan your weekend adventure at Maple Lawn Farms here. Special thanks to Farmer Hugh & everyone at Maple Lawn Farms for gifting us the tickets and to Maria Ortiz of Papillon Photography for capturing the memories!