Eight acres of disorienting fun await visitors to the Carter County Corn Maze on the Carter County Fairgrounds.
In its fifth year, the maze is the work of members of Future Farmers of America at West Carter and East Carter high schools.
Will Davis, a teacher at East Carter, said the maze has come a long way in the last five years.
“The first year, we did it by hand, designed it on paper and went out with tape measures,” he said. “It took weeks.
“Now we use a company that specialized in corn mazes. We work with on the design and then they come with GPS mapping and a mower or tiller and cut it.” The company is based in the Midwest; he said there are no businesses in the area that design or cut corn mazes.
He said this year’s design will include a FFA logo.
Students are involved in many hands-on aspects of the maze. More than 250 students from both schools provide guidance and security at the maze, lead education programs, operate equipment for hayrides and sell student-grown products such as pumpkins and gourds and concessions during maze hours.
The maze is open every weekend in October, from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 during the day and $7.50 from dusk until closing.
Groups of 12 or more are admitted for $7.50, including a hot dog meal, hayride and visit to the maze.
“Everyone who comes through the maze gets a souvenir pumpkin,” Davis said.
Last year, about 2,500 visited the maze, he said, spending at least 20 minutes wandering through the shucks.
“If you don’t make any wrong turns, it takes about 20 minutes,” he said. “Some spend an hour and a half. I tell people to allow 40 to 90 minutes.”
The maze will take a turn for the frightful Nov. 2 and 3, when the Haunted Maze will be presented from dusk to 11 p.m.
Cost is $7.50 to experience the maze all decked out to scare visitors with members of the community joining FFA students to create a memorable Halloween-like experience.
Funds raised by the maze will benefit FFA and the schools’ agriculture departments.
For more information, visit cartercountyfair.org and click on maze.
LEE WARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2661.