Well, if you can’t beat `em, why not join `em and celebrate the American political process at the Election Year Corn Maze at the Country Lane Tree Farm in Genoa?
Using GPS technology, the Bowlander family has created a 15-acre maze with more than two miles of twisting, turning paths in the shape of an elephant, a donkey and the words “McCain” and “Obama.”
“The election was such a hot topic this year, we really wanted to incorporate the theme into this year’s corn maze,” said Melissa Bowlander. “We kept waiting and waiting for the Democratic candidate to be decided – we actually had a design drawn up for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
Participants “declare” their party by choosing a red or a blue ticket. After finding all eight paper punches (watch out for those hanging chads!) and answering all 10 presidential-related questions throughout the paths, maze-goers will be able to cast their ballot for their candidate.
So, what are the early poll results? As of press time, Barack Obama had garnered the most votes – 121 to John McCain’s 69. Check the Web site at www.countrylanetreefarm.com every Monday for updates.
Not quite ready to commit to a candidate or to tackle the 15-acre maze? Then try the smaller “independent” maze in the shape of “Vote 08.” (Not much of a challenge, but plenty of fall fun.)
October hours for the mazes are Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to dark and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to dark. The last maze admission is one hour before dark.
Special Fall Festival events
101.5 the River’s Rick Woodell will broadcast live from the maze on Oct. 4.from noon to 2 p.m. Those who bring non-perishable food item for the Northwest Ohio Food Bank will receive $1 off a corn maze admission (limit donation per admission.).
“This is something we’re going to offer throughout the season,” Melissa said. “With the current economic times, more people are relying on area food banks, so we encourage people to bring items to donate.”
If the prospect of having to listen to all those political ads between now and Nov. 4 isn’t scary enough, pay a visit to Country Lane’s Haunted Tree Maze, which is bigger and better than last year’s, the Bowlanders promise.
The haunted maze, which winds its way through the farm’s Christmas tree field, is open before dark for the little ones, and then after dark for bigger scares. (Watch out – while you’re looking for your way out, the monsters are looking for you!)
It’s open Saturdays only throughout October. “Little Scare” hours are 6 p.m. to dusk. Older kids and teens can come from dusk and 10 p.m.
By the light of the moon
Mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 11, when something unusual will occur at the Great Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze. Come between 9 p.m. and midnight to pick your pumpkins by the “light of the harvest moon.” Bring a flashlight and “skeeter spray.” The Great Pumpkin might just appear in the Snack Shoppe for pictures too. (Events are weather permitting.)
Do you dare?
On Saturday, Oct. 25 and Friday, Oct. 31, bring your courage, your flashlight and your friends and try to complete the corn maze in the dark – if you dare. (Weather permitting) Hours are 9 p.m. to midnight (last maze admission is at midnight.)
Country Lane also offers a U-Pick Pumpkin Patch, along with gourds, straw bales, Indian corn and corn stalks for fall decorating. Take a free hay ride to the pumpkin patch.
The farm offers tours too - try your hand at milking a cow) Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are also pony rides, barrel train rides, a corn cannon (hit the target and win a prize) and more fun fall activities to enjoy.
Visit the Craft Barn and the Snack Shoppe and pick up some fresh-pressed apple cider, homemade caramel apples, butter fudge, baked goods, hot dogs and more.
If you go…
Admission to the Election Year Corn Maze is $5. Kids 2 and younger are free. Groups of 20 or more receive $1 off each maze ticket.
The 2008 Independence Trail Maze (children’s maze) is $3 for kids 3 and up. One adult will be admitted free with each paid children’s admission. Kids 2 and younger get in free.
Country Lane Tree Farm is located at 3525 N. Bolander Rd., Genoa, just west of Clay Center. Call 419- 461-1298 or visit www.countrylanetreefarm.com for directions and more information.