The National Maple Syrup Festival will return in March at a new location. The event is celebrating its fifth year and will be held in Brown County after a one-year hiatus. The festival started in the Jackson County town of Medora as a way to celebrate Indiana's role in the U.S. “Maple Sugar Belt.” January 29, 2015

News Release

NASHVILLE, Ind. – As part of the 2015 National Maple Syrup Festival being held in Brown County, Ind., campfire cooking extraordinaire Lesley Tennessen, better known as the Dutch Oven Diva, will prepare sweet and savory maple-based food creations in the Brown County State Park on March 7 and 8.

Stationed around a huge stone fireplace in the Lower Shelter of the park, the Dutch Oven Diva will cook live for festival guests, who will be able to enjoy samples and experience firsthand the fine art of outdoor cooking. Using only Dutch ovens, the Diva will serve up delicious dishes all featuring maple ingredients on Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Enjoying a tasty dinner around a campfire with friends and family near is hard to beat, which is why the Dutch Oven Diva has made it her mission to share with others her talent for unconventional, outdoor cooking. Being an avid outdoors person since childhood, the Dutch Oven Diva has pursued her love of the great outdoors over the years through hiking, camping, and campfire cooking.

The Diva has also been a lifelong member of Girl Scouts, serving and teaching Girl Scouts outdoor skills. It was during her time teaching outdoor cooking to Girl Scouts that she discovered the Dutch oven. It didn’t take long for The Diva’s interest and talent to grow as she began to explore and master Dutch oven cooking.

Soon Tennessen began to get involved with Dutch oven gatherings and before she knew it, The Diva had become the face of the Midwest for Dutch oven cooking, serving in leadership positions for several Dutch oven societies. Tennessen also currently teaches classes focusing on Dutch oven cooking, outdoor skills, teamwork, and group facilitation.

The Dutch Oven Diva is a well-known star among Dutch oven circles and true queen of campfire cooking. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to witness firsthand the Diva in action at the 2015 National Maple Syrup Festival. Cooking alongside Tennessen will be fellow Dutch oven comrades, Steve Meneely and Tina Misicka.

In addition to Dutch oven cooking, festival guests will be also be able to experience the maple sap to syrup process at the Brown County State Park through live demonstrations of tree tapping and sugaring. Descendants of the Delaware and Shawnee will reenact how their ancestors made maple syrup on this land centuries ago, and nearby French Colonial reenactors will demonstrate how early settlers made it differently. Interpretive hikes will also begin at the Lower Shelter and will travel through the woods, where festival guests can see tapped trees, learn the tapping process, as well as learn to identify maple trees in the winter.

Several other activities and events will be occurring throughout the county and within the Village of Nashville as part of the National Maple Syrup Festival including a culinary competition, a dinner series, live sugaring demonstrations, a pancake breakfast, live music, children’s activities, the sale of maple-related goods and foods, and much more.

For more information on activities occurring in the Brown County State Park and elsewhere as part of the National Maple Syrup Festival, please visit and be sure to make plans to attend March 5-8.

About Brown County

No matter what you’re looking for, escape comes naturally in Brown County. Eclectic boutiques and galleries, breathtaking scenery, welcoming accommodations, and endless outdoor adventures await in one of America’s original artists’ colonies. From art to the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and for most, it’s only a short drive away. Unplug from daily life and reconnect with one another as you experience the rustic beauty and artisanal charm of Brown County. Plan your escape today…you’ll be glad you did.


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