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GODFREY ILL. — The seven-acre Great Godfrey Maze is back again this year, with an unexpected detail. 

The Great Godfrey Maze is going hip by planting hemp. Most fall mazes are made of corn, but not this one. It is made of hemp.

This maze is made out of a noninvasive weed, no not that kind of weed, called Sunn hemp instead of corn.

The plant originated in India. There, it is utilized for livestock feed, and non-wood fiber crop (hemp ropes), and it also helps with soil-improving crops. 

Godfrey switched the maze to hemp because the corn did not grow last year.

“The corn last year did not grow. It grew about four feet tall,” said Christopher Logan, Parks and Rec director. “A local farmer suggested we try this, and it worked out great.”

Logan continued to say that hemp was a better investment than corn. “We didn’t have to treat the field with any chemicals,” Logan said. He also said that the price for hemp was cheaper than the price for corn. 

This year’s theme for the maze is circus. There is a cardboard cutout that kids can stick their faces through for funny photos, and the maze is cut into circus animals. Each year the theme changes.

“If you had an aerial view, there’s an elephant and a lion in it,” said Logan.

He explained that the city hires a company to come out and spray the areas in the maze where they want the paths. 

“They show up whenever the hemp or the corn, depending on what crop you have is about a foot tall. They go out there with hand sprayers,” said Logan. “They spray it by hand, it kills off the plants in that particular spot. The plants around the path continue to grow.”

During the hours of operation, Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., there are other activities around the maze. On Fridays, a giant jumping pillow and a corn crib for the little ones are open. On Saturdays, there are inflatable obstacle courses and of course bounce houses. 

“We have a cow train, which is a bunch of plastic barrels that were converted into little cars. We’ll pull kids around the maze,” Logan said. “We have a wagon ride with a tractor. There are straw bales in the trailer behind the tractor, and we’ll pull visitors around the park.”

They also have a haunted maze, which is a separate maze from the circus one. It starts Friday and will be every Friday and Saturday night in October.

This Saturday they are holding their fall festival. It starts at 11 a.m. and there will be food trucks, inflatables, live music, and a couple of contests for the kids.