Field turned into fun, frightful maze for all

Published 1:09 am Monday, October 29, 2007

VIDALIA — A corn field filled with ghouls and goblins may sound like something out of a 1970s horror movie, but in Vidalia it’s just part of a night of family fun.

The Miss-Lou Maze Craze — a labyrinth cut through a cornfield off U.S. 84 — opened Oct. 6.

The maze, which is cut into the shape of Louisiana and Mississippi, will stay open until Nov. 10. The Louisiana side of the maze will be “haunted” while the Mississippi side will not.

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The Maze Craze also has a small maze for younger children, cut out of a patch of short corn.

Owner Cecil Parker said he and partner Noble Guedon had an idea about doing a maze for several years before finally starting the Maze Craze.

“We felt like there was a need for the community to have something clean and unique,” he said. “It gives them an opportunity to learn something about agriculture.”

The first year — last fall — did not make any money, but the maze had been popular enough that the partners decided to do it again, Parker said.

Using a Global Positioning System, the partners programmed the field into their handheld computers and electronically superimposed the maze design over the field.

“We got on riding lawnmowers and strapped the GPS to our legs,” Parker said. “Once you’re out there, you go to one point, turn, and go to another point on the computer.”

The partners expanded the activities that families and groups can do at the maze location, Parker said.

“This year, we added corn pits and soybean boxes,” he said. “Basically, we cut an old water trailer in half and filled them with corn and soybeans. It’s like a sandbox, and kids get in there and roll and play.”

Along with a coloring wall and a pumpkin patch for children, the maze features a corn cannon that runs off compressed air. Targets include an up-close pumpkin and scarecrow, and further back participants can aim at a turkey or a 20-point buck.

“We harvested some dry corn and saved it,” Parker said. “The cannon will shoot it about 100 yards.”

The cannon has a safety switch a Maze Craze employee has to throw before it can be fired, Parker said.

The Maze Craze also offers fire pits for group tours such as birthday parties or church groups, he said.

The Miss-Lou Maze Craze is open to the public from 6 – 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and is also open during the week for scheduled group tours.

Admission is $7 for those who want to tour the non-haunted side of the maze, and for $9 the public can make their way through the haunted and the non-haunted side.