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Meander through the maize at Valley corn mazes

This year, a new trend has grown across the region, with not one, or two, but three corn mazes now open to the public. You can find them at the Ormstown fairgrounds, Jamieson Maple in Athelstan, and Framboises et Parapluies in Saint-Chrysostome.

Catherine Julien of Framboises et Parapluies suggests the reason behind the sudden appearance of these mazes could be the result of COVID. “The resurgence of outdoor activities due to the health situation we found ourselves in has helped propel many tourist sites,” she says. Also, corn mazes differ, making the pastime worth exploring. “It’s an activity where people like to try them all,” she explains.

Julien and her partner, Samuel Bourdeau, helped friends build a maze, and had so much fun they decided to create their own. The Framboises et Parapluies five-acre maze is inspired by the board game Clue; here, participants solve the mysterious disappearance of the farmer. “Families must find the six hidden game stations in the maze to eliminate the suspects … in order to accuse the right kidnapper.”

Sponsored by Uniag Cooperative, the project will donate one dollar per purchased ticket to Opération Enfant Soleil at the end of the season. The maze is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekend in September and October.

Justin Jamieson of Jamieson Maple says their maze has been “in the works for two years; we were just waiting for COVID to slow down.” This labyrinth is kid-oriented and includes a scavenger hunt. There will be a “flashlight night” on September 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. as well as a kid-friendly Halloween edition. This maze is open on weekends from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., with a restaurant on site open until 5:00 p.m.

 

Man and young girl walking through a corn maze with young girl looking back
Families have been enjoying the kid-friendly corn maze at Framboises et Parapluies in Saint-Chrysostome since it opened in mid-August. PHOTO Sarah Rennie

 

The Livestock Breeders Association of the District of Beauharnois (LBA) has also jumped on the corn maze bandwagon, launching their 10-acre labyrinth over the Labour Day weekend. “We could not have hoped for it to be any better than it is,” says the LBA manager, Sue Morison, of the maze, which is so large it includes reference points and emergency exits.

The LBA first approached fairground neighbours Garry and Tom Hamilton about using their cornfield, and with their approval they cross-planted the field in the spring to avoid typical corn rows. GPS technology was used to create five-foot pathways that, when viewed from the air, spell out “LBA” and include images such as a jack-o-lantern and Ferris wheel, along with the logos of the main maze sponsors, Desjardins and the Sollio Cooperative Group.

Participants will have a puzzle to solve, and prizes will be awarded to those who emerge with the correct answers. The labyrinth is open on weekends except on September 10 when the site will welcome the Circuit régional des courses de chevaux du Québec horse races. The LBA will also be holding several evening editions, including a “full-moon fright” event on October 8, as well as a Halloween version on October 28 and 29. Tickets for the corn maze must be purchased in advance online at lbafallfestival.com.

 

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