Green Acres Corn Maze organizers Kim and Steven Syverts ran through a number of possible themes for this year’s maze.
One of Kim’s favorites from the past was the Peanuts characters, she said. Last year’s Mario Kart theme was also popular.
But a lot has changed since last fall, and as the world grapples with a pandemic and uncertainty, they felt like going with something more fitting for the times.
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The design pays tribute to first responders and healthcare workers, with the image of the world cradled by helping hands.
“We decided that the world and all of its changes, we really do owe a lot to those first responders,” said Kim.
This will be the eighth year Forgey Farm owners Kim and Steven have produced the maze west of Casper, who first collaborated with Bryce and Denise Bressler of 33 Mile Ranch in 2012 to start what quickly became a seasonal tradition.
The maze takes about as much prep and planning as one would imagine for such an undertaking.
“We make a design, we work with people called The MAiZE Company out of Utah,” she said.
The corn is planted by Steven in a grid, said Kim. When people from the MAiZE Company arrive with their map, they plot it every 25 rows horizontally and vertically using flags and spray paint. The design is sprayed when the corn is a few inches tall, and then is eventually cut. Finally, Steven takes a rototiller to smooth out the path.
Kim said they are aiming to open Sept. 19 and close around Oct. 31.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just influence this year’s design, it has also forced some practical changes on the ground. There will be more hand sanitizing stations, fewer hands-on attractions for kids, and likely no school field trips as in years past. But the maze experience should remain the same.
“I know people in Casper are respectful,” said Kim about social distancing. “People come as families and as groups, and they stay in groups.”
The familiar farm animals will also be out and about to delight families.
“I want to share them and give them so TLC and let people experience the animal world.”
“It’s such a tradition for a lot of families and holds a lot of memories,” she said. “People come from all over the state for a picture perfect day.”
“We’re just hoping to provide an experience people can take home with them.”