There are plenty of corn fields in Mississippi, but up in Jones County in the town of Sandersville they have one that is a little different. It's a five acre field of corn that is one of about 28 corn mazes all over the world. This one known as Sunset Maze is planted and cut out into about two miles worth of twists and turns by a family and some friends.
Randy Gatlin is the co-founder of this maze and as he stands at the start of the maze, a typical line for visitors might be. "This is our briefing circle where we tell everyone how to get in, but not how to get out."
Fourteen year old Robert Paternostro heard the idea that his relatives had to cut a maze into the corn field and says, "I thought they were crazy because about a year ago I would of never even thought about a corn maze, I didn't even know what one was."
Randy's son Robert Gatlin says, "At first I thought my dad was crazy, but then I guess I kind of went along with it and it turned out to be pretty fun."
British Maze Designer Adrian Fisher has designed mazes worldwide for about 30 years. This year his designs are in the Wild Wild West theme; including, the one in Jones County which is called Tame the Stallion.
Randy Gatlin says, "He's been very cooperative with us in the design and the structure of this one and all of the inner activities and the courtyard area and so forth and just been excellent, excellent people to work with."
Marty Blackledge is one the co-founders and he saw the idea of building a corn maze on television a few years ago and stored the idea away. He says he's impressed with Fisher's work. "He's designed mazes, this year, in Israel, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, there's two in Canada and I think we're the 8th one in the U.S. that he's designed."
You can visit the maze from now until October 31st and to get it ready for visitors took a lot of hard work. Randy Gatlin says, "We do plant the corn first and then we come back and mark and cut the paths out."
Robert Paternostro says, "We had to go through there and we had to graph everything out and we had to pull the corn."
They're expecting plenty of visitors but they've gotten a great response from church groups, and schools from around the state as the maze also comes complete with educational programs in Math, Science and even Geography.
Any school group that goes through the maze will have a packet complete with assignments that coincide with the experience. Lunches will also be provided by Buzzeria Pizza and Sub where students will get a 4" sub sandwich, chips and drink as part of the price of visiting the maze for school groups.
The maze will be open to the public Thursday - Friday from 2:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Saturday - 9:00 A.M. Until Dark.
Sunday - 1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.