Local company designs corn mazes that are out of this world!
Published at | Updated at
FIRTH– A local maze designing company travels the country turning corn fields into a fun, family adventure.
“It’s a marriage of technology and art, and that’s what’s really fun about it,” maze designer Chayce Whitworth said.
Maze Play, located in Firth, was founded by Shawn Stolworthy in the late 90’s when he first heard of the idea of a corn maze. He built his first maze, The Wild Adventure Corn Maze, north of Blackfoot and since then has been traveling the country crafting award winning mazes.
“We do about 110 corn maze designs all across the Unites States and Canada,” Whitworth said. “Our designs look great and they work really well as a fun experience for people going through. We’re able to draw faces and make things more recognizable than most people are.”
Designers work for 10 to 30 hours mapping out a maze on the computer screen. They infuse art with mathematics, and global positioning to create functional and enjoyable maze trails.
“I work with the clients very closely to be able to get their ideas from conception in their head, to working on the computer, to out in the field, so it’s a visual masterpiece in large proportion. (It’s) something that’s really fun for people to go through,” Whitworth said.
Stolworhty, used to making The Wild Adventure Corn Maze his own sold it to a good friend, Richard Johnson in 2011. He said it became a challenge to design mazes and then return home to run one.
Although the farm is now Johnson’s, he still works with him on planning and executing maze designs. Johnson said this year’s maze is more cutting edge.
“This is our 5th year of doing mazes, and I’ve never had a maze be this crisp, and this sharp,” Johnson said.
“We tried a lot of new things this year on that maze,” Whitworth said.
Instead of tilling down the designs out of grown corn, the maze was planted in the desired formation. This year’s theme is a “Race to the Moon.”
Johnson says he enjoys being the local resource Stolworthy needs to test and tweak maze ideas to perfection.
“It’s fun because I get to see the latest technology put in play before anybody else,” Johnson said. You’ve got the face of Neil Armstrong in this maze, you’ve got the lunar module that lands on the moon, you’ve got the orbiter capsule as well, and then you’ve got the rocket. So we’ve kinda brought it all together.”
Although he loves being the first client to experience the latest Stolworhty has to offer, Johnson says the most important aspect of the maze is about having a good time.
“What matters though is the quality experience you experience in the maze because of how precise everything is,” Johnson said.
Stolworhty said traveling throughout the country has been a great experience, and he enjoys his unique job.
“Being able to work with people across the country. That has been really rewarding working with the customers that I have. They’re a really neat group of people. That for me is a huge part of why I like to do this, is build those relationships with customers,” Stolworthy said.