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Maze draws many despite COVID-19

NEW SPRINGFIELD — Although COVID-19 has put a damper on many plans in 2020, the Maze Craze has some outdoor fun for the entire family.

For a much needed break for many, Maze Craze offers up the chance to go outside, feel the sunshine and get some fresh air with their new corn maze themed after the holiday classic “A Christmas Carol.”

“We figured we needed to get (the kids) out of the house, enjoy a little bit of fall, but still do it before the crowds start and everything gets too busy, but doing something outdoors is perfect to social distance and keep them safe while they can still have some fun,” Cortland resident Jon Bowman said. “I think this place is perfect. They have a little bit of something for everyone to do.”

The maze itself has four individual mazes that comprise the entire 21-acre plot. The different mazes are color coordinated to indicate the ease or difficulty of each maze — blue, black, green and red. Also, there is a lot to do outside the maze itself. There’s a hayride, a children’s zipline, gemstone mining and a “cornzooka” where people can shoot half-ears of corn at set targets.

The blue maze is easily maneuverable and is intended for children and their parents. The black maze is slightly more difficult and has more mileage of trails. The green maze has almost double the mileage of the black maze and has many more twists and turns. The most difficult and longest maze is the red. With 4.4 miles of winding and dead-end trails, this maze covers the majority of the entire plot.

“The blue maze is the easiest maze,” co-owner of Maze Craze Cindy Bacon said. “There’s a game in there. They actually get a crayon and they search for different points and animal prints and come out and compare them on a board so it’s a bit of a learning experience too.”

Even amid the current crisis, families view the maze as a much-needed break from COVID-19. Even more, people are flocking to the maze from all over Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania.

Nikki Petrella, her daughter Aliya and Barb Zimnox made the hour-and-a-half drive from Wintersville, to attend the maze. According to Petrella, they love it and feel safe because the venue is outdoors.

Janay Johnson also traveled more than an hour from Twinsburg and shares the same sentiment.

“I think it’s really nice. The kid’s zipline is really cool, I’ve never seen that at a corn maze before so it’s really neat,” Johnson said.

According to the Bacons, the property is taking the proper precautions to put people’s minds at ease. Some of the precautions include a large number of hand sanitizer stations, increasing the already vigorous cleaning schedules and spacing benches and tables out to promote social distancing.

“We’ve already taken quite a few steps. We’re an outdoor venue so normal social distancing applies,” Bacon said. “We do temperature checks for everyone, we have hand sanitizing stations. We’ve already had a high cleaning regiment to begin with so we’ve just upped that.”

According to Bacon, she initially had some concern about people attending because of the pandemic, but said she believes that because the activities are outside, the maze offers a refreshing break.

“After opening night on Friday, it seemed that everybody was having a good time and people respected each other so we didn’t have any problems,” Bacon said.

In 2018, Maze Craze was featured as one of the top 10 corn mazes in the United States according to a USA Today poll and was voted one of the top 10 favorites in Ohio in 2019. In the past, the maze has featured extravagant designs such as The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast.

“It’s nice to have that recognition because we work very hard doing what we do,” Bacon said. “I think it shows people that it’s worth coming out here to see us.”

Maze Craze is located at 14070 Woodworth Road, New Springfield, and the hours of operation are Friday 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Nov. 1.

nhawthorne@tribtoday.com

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