In 2009, the South Texas MAiZE attracted 32,500 people. The largest draw, for everyone from small children to adults, is the 7-acre maze. Each year, a customized pattern (the 2009 pattern featured the words GRAFF FAMILY FARM) is created by selectively plowing a young field of haygrazer using a tractor and specialized GPS program. As the haygrazer matures and grows—8 feet and taller—the plowed portion is weeded and kept clear.
When asked what the most difficult part of maintenance is, Ken replies quickly: “teenagers!” A high tower in the center of the field made of scaffolding and anchored by guy wires offers a bird’s-eye view of the maze. Here, a spotter can call to crop cops—employees interspersed throughout the maze—by walkie-talkie to send an alert if an individual or group is cutting through walls, running or otherwise causing trouble.
Other activities for young and old include hayrides, a children’s barrel train with wheels that’s pulled by a tractor, and a giant rubber pillow-shaped trampoline called The Corn Popper. There is also an air-powered corn cannon (a variation on a potato gun), a homemade jungle gym with slides made from giant culverts, and a few food booths serving popcorn and grilled corn as well as burgers, sausage wraps, turkey legs and more. On some weekends, a local helicopter pilot/crop duster offers five-minute helicopter rides for an additional fee.
From September 25 through November 28, all grounds and amusements will be open 5 to 9 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $9 plus tax for adults and $7 for seniors and children (ages 4-11). Children under 4 are admitted free.
Other Texas MAiZEs are in Amarillo, Angleton, Brookshire, Lubbock, Mercedes, Midland, Moulton, Tyler/Longview and West. For more information, visit www.cornfieldmaze.com or call (801) 798-0596 for consulting services.