Albany, NY - It's the season when the sap begins to flow from the sugar maples, and when Albany starts preparing for its largest annual event, Tulip Festival! Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year, so we thought we'd prepare you for all the fun happenings in New York's Capital City this spring!

Sweet, Sweet SpringtimeSugar House
As the weather warms and the trees begin to thaw from the winter chill, the sap beings to drip through either traditional spiles into buckets, or high-tech tubing into large plastic barrels. The sap is boiled for hours at the sugar house, producing a warm and sweet aroma that is difficult to resist. This process transforms the slightly sweet and watery liquid into the thick and delicious maple syrup that we all love to savor with our morning pancakes. And if pancakes aren't nearby, take some fresh powder snow and pour some syrup onto it to create a maple snow treat!

Throughout the Albany County Hilltowns, many residents and farmers take to the woods with their equipment and begin harvesting the sweet liquid. The syrup season has become such a celebrated tradition that there are a number of festivals dedicated to the sticky substance. Two weekends in March (16-17, 23-24) will play host to the New York State Maple Producers Association Maple WeekendTM at the Mountain Winds Farm in Berne. On March 24, the Knox Firehouse will host a delicious all-you-can-eat pancake brunch, complete with -you guessed it- pure maple syrup! And in Cooperstown, the Farmer's Museum hosts Sugaring Off Sundays each Sunday in March, in which the maple syrup industry is explored through a variety of fun activities.

So pack your bags and head to the Hilltowns to learn about this fascinating (and delicious) tradition!

65th Tulip Festival is Award Winning! Tulip Fest
Following the maple sugar buzz, New York State's capital city will begin preparing for the blooming of hundreds of thousands of tulips this Mother's Day weekend in Albany's historic Washington Park. We're also excited to announce that the 2013 Albany Tulip Fest was named a Top 100 Event by the American Bus Association!

In 1948, Erastus Corning II, the Mayor of Albany declared the Tulip the "official flower of Albany". Following that, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands honored the Mayor's request and designated the variety of tulip, known as the "Orange Wonder" to be the tulip of Albany. Tulip Fest was born, and has continued for 65 years.

The Tulip Fest is a FREE event with traditions dating back more than half a century. From the scrubbing of State Street to kick-off the festival, to the crowning of the Tulip Queen, the weekend is filled with an array of entertainment, food, and activities for all.

There's no question why so many come to enjoy the beauty and wonder of Albany in Spring. Bring your sweet tooth and your camera and head to Albany for a spring you won't soon forget!

About the ACCVB:
The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit