Halloween hotspot started as backup business plan

The Kelowna Corn Maze, at 575 Valley Rd., started five years ago as a way to offset the losses from a bad harvest.

Tucked into some agricultural land that’s pressed against the more urban developments of Glenmore, there’s a Halloween treat a growing number of Kelowna residents are exploring.

The Kelowna Corn Maze, at 575 Valley Rd., started five years ago as a way to offset the losses  from a bad harvest.

“We had planted the wrong seed and it didn’t grow properly,” explained Anda Verge, who has taken part in planning the attraction since its inception. “Now we have a better crop.”

Despite the need for the ‘diversified farming’-themed backup plan being less present, the owners of the farm have continued with the maze, improving it each year.

“It was just a quarter of an acre at the time and now it’s nearly three acres,” said Verge, who says the maze is hand planted and mapped out with a GPS.

Those who visit are advised that it could be a three-quarter mile walk, from one end to the other, starting with the reaper then back around past some ghosts that herald freedom.

During the day the maze is kid-friendly, which many of those in attendance attested to this weekend.

“It’s awesome,” said Madison Wightman, age 9. “If you take the wrong turn, there are zombies and spiders.”

During the evening, however, it takes a turn that Wightman’s mom said she, and most children, wouldn’t be quite ready for.

Boxes outfitted with animatronic ghouls and ghosts greet those who are winding their way through the maze.

It’s a lot of fun, said Verge, pointing out that, while they don’t count the number of visitors to the maze, they have a steady flow.

With popularity, however, comes challenges. Each year that’s passed has seen casualties to the animatronics, as visitors rip them apart.

“It’s discouraging,” said Verge, pointing out that planning for the maze starts many months beforehand, so she takes the damages personally.

That said, once they’ve been discovered they go about fixing what’s been broken, ensuring that ensuing visitors get a good time.

The maze is only open in October. For more information go to www.kelownacornmaze.ca

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