It’s that time of year again: yup, that’s right, time to head outside and get lost in your local corn maze. According to The MAiZE, a leading corn maze company (yes, there is such a thing) based in Utah, the annual tradition lets family farms generate extra income by attracting day-trippers from nearby urban areas with their woven fields of corn. The MAiZE counts over 500 mazes in the U.S. (one in nearly every state), 15 in Canada, one in the UK, Italy, one even in Staszów in south-central Poland.
Rural theme parks that they are, corn mazes have been around for centuries, serving ceremonial purposes or amusing royalty in the days of kings and princesses. The “modern” corn maze has been around only since the mid-1990s when British maze developer, Adrian Fisher, claims to have created the first corn maze in Pennsylvania.
Most corn mazes in the U.S. open in mid-September and remain active throughout the fall. This time of year, some become even more “a-maize-ing” (yes, we’re suckers for the corn-y puns) adding Halloween hauntings to the mix; some have even gone high-tech, providing maze-goers with clues via text messaging.
On the ground, most mazes are a swirl of lanes and frustrating dead-ends while, from the air, they’re works of art. Thematically, designs run the gamut. The L.A. Times
reported on a cowboy gracing a corn field in Angleton, Texas; some dinos trotting through Knoxville, Iowa; and the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza embellishing a field in Anderson, California. The 14-acre maze at Summers Farm in Frederick, Maryland, serves a social purpose as it displays St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s name and logo.
Photo: The MAiZE
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