Pandemic forces some changes in communities that host corn mazes

Illinois

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – COVID-19 is forcing some Illinois communities to cancel a fall favorite: The Corn Maze.

One family has opened their maze and said they’re ensuring health guidelines are followed.

The maze at Eckert’s Fun Farm and other attractions have been going strong for two decades and will continue this year.

It is apple picking time again at Eckert’s Farms. The wagon which carries folks to the orchard now has dividers to keep families separated and keep germs from spreading. Steve Beasely was picking apples with his family.

“We feel safe perfectly fine out here with all the precautions I think we’re fine,” said Steve Beasely.

While picking apples customers can be assured there are plenty of hand washing stations. 

Elly Beasley was picking apples with her grandchildren.

“Out here in the breeze there’s so much of a breeze out here I feel totally safe, I feel safe with my grandkids out here,” said Elly Beasley.

Communities like Godfrey have decided to close their corn maze this year. The Eckert’s 2020 maze just opened. It’s kind of traditional, it spells out the company name in the middle. Last year it was really special. They saluted the Stanley Cup Champions – St. Louis Blues.

If you’re concerned about social distancing, there’s a lot of space to spread out here.

Eckert’s Farms spokeswoman Sarah Lanxon said, “The maze alone is a 15-acre maze there’s plenty of maze space the farm is over 100 acres in total.”

The petting zoo remains but because of COVID they had to remove a few of the kiddie rides.

“I think we’re getting back to basics on the farm,” said Lanxon.

Now there’s a pyramid made of hay bales, and a kids’ maze lined with bales of hay.  The pumpkin cannon stands ready to be fired.

People don’t seem concerned about the pandemic.

“I thnk it’s pretty safe and I’m okay with this,” said Gabriella Beasely, a 12-year-old apple picker.

If you’re planning to visit you need to make reservations and buy your tickets in advance.

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