News Release Distributed 10/07/11Fall is not complete without a visit to a corn maze or pumpkin patch.
People in Louisiana who are looking for these activities can find them on the Internet, according to LSU AgCenter public relations and information specialist Pam Hodson.
“You can find them on the Louisiana MarketMaker website la.marketmaker.uiuc.edu,” Hodson said. “It has several ideas for family fun that include visits to corn mazes and pumpkin patches.”
Most corn mazes and pumpkin patches open in early October and end by Halloween. Some farms reopen in November for Christmas tree sales.
The first corn maze was created in the early 1990s, and since that time, the number has mushroomed in the United States, Hodson said. Many farmers use global positioning to help mark their fields before designing a maze; others use simpler grid systems to cut the maze.
Within the past few years, farmers who have been growing pumpkins are now opening their fields for families to pick their own. And because good pumpkins may go early, many farmers replenish their fields with pumpkins brought in from elsewhere.
“Either way, the experience of looking for the perfect pumpkin is the same,” Hodson said. She cited several examples:
– For a general admission price, Curry Farms in Start, near Monroe, includes a corn maze, train ride, hay slides and pumpkin’ chunkin’. Curry Farms also opens for school field trips, and reopens on Thanksgiving Day to sell Christmas trees.
– Further south in Dry Creek, in Beauregard Parish, CM Farms offers “A’mazeing design,” which features two mazes for different age groups. This year’s design is carved into a field of sorghum covering about 10 acres. Other attractions include pig races, hay bale stacks for playing and farm animals to feed.
– The LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center located off Essen Lane in Baton Rouge offers a variety of family activities on October weekends, including a stroll through a corn maze, pumpkin painting and hay rides. The Fall Festival at the Burden Center ends October 29 with a bonfire, hot dogs and drinks.
For information on where to find corn mazes and pumpkin patches, go to Louisiana MarketMaker at la.marketmaker.uiuc.edu and click Upcoming Events. The site provides general information as well as links to corn maze websites.
Louisiana MarketMaker is a service provided the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with the Louisiana Departments of Agriculture and Forestry and Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Farm Bureau.
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