Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Celebrate the 75th BRP Anniversary in a Corn Maze

The Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th Anniversary is the theme for this year's Back Home On The Farm Corn maze in Harrisonburg. Each year the farm chooses a new theme and begins preparations soon after the corn is planted in late May. As soon as the corn seedlings emerge from the ground, about a week after planting, begins the task of removing the corn seedlings to make the design. They hand cut the maze in the spring when the corn is short and then maintain the paths all summer long. It takes about a week to "cut" the maze into the field, whch is done with a detailed set of plans that are so specific that they actually show each row of corn growing in the field. The design is created by The Maize Company, the largest designer in the world. They take the theme and design it on a computer and then send a detailed grid. While the corn is shorter this year, it still stands 5-6 feet tall.

The maze officially opened August 28th, 2010. Explore 3 miles of paths and bridges while learning interesting facts about the parkway. There is a mini maze inside the larger design. The mini maze takes about 15 minutes to navigate-most peopole usually finish the large maze in under an hour.

While visiting the farm, ride the Virginia Carousel! All thirty horses represent famous Virginians, Virginia products, places and landscape. This 1940's carousel has been restored by local artist, Britney Mongold. The carousel was purchased from the Onancock Fire Department at Auction in the spring of 2007 and the horses were refurbrished in 2008 to serve as an educational homage to the state of Virginia. Each horse is painted to represent a famous Virginian or industry. Each horse was researched and detailed painting represents events of historical significance or events in the life of the featured person. The rounding board is the panel that surrounds the top of the carousel. There are twelve sections, each showcasing two places in Virginia of interest. Chosen for historical and economic interest, you'll see paintings of Arlington National Cemetery, The Dismal Swamp, and 22 other buildings and locations tharoughout the entire state. Plans yet to be completed include native wildflowers on the medallions atop the rounding boards and a mural of valley countryside around the center pole.