Mike’s Maze pays homage to the movies with a 2022 design

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Published: 09/09/2022 20:14:14

Modified: 09/09/2022 20:10:28

SUNDERLAND — Lights, camera, action!

Mike’s Maze is heading to Hollywood this fall as the famous corn maze honors all things movie-related. To celebrate films like “Star Wars” and “ET the Extra-Terrestrial” marking their 40th and 45th anniversaries, Mike’s Maze hopes to capture an audience that loves movies, just as those films captivated audiences decades ago.

Jess and David Wisseman, the maze’s co-creators, said the maze’s theme each year is based on “a kind of cultural touchstone” – think last year’s “Imagine” theme Where “Vote! of 2020 pattern. Jhe thought to point out that acting was something they had wanted to do for “several years”.

“There are so many movies celebrating an anniversary this year, it was a no-brainer,” said Jess Wisseman. “The amount of content to work with has been almost overwhelming.”

The word “Action!” is etched into the 8 Acre Corn Maze in a classic 1950s-style font as the popcorn flies through the design. As guests enter the maze, they’ll be treated to a classic movie marquee that Jess Wisseman hopes will “put people into that kind of whimsical state of mind”.

“What better way to represent the word ‘Action’ than with an explosion of popcorn bursting out of a cornfield?” said Jess Wisseman. “I was trying to capture a sense of nostalgia, but also excitement.”

“In many ways, this is the most literal corn maze we’ve ever done,” added David Wisseman.

Other films they have highlighted include: ‘The Godfather’, which celebrates its 50th anniversary; “Casablanca” celebrates its 80th anniversary; and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” celebrating its 45th anniversary.

“It was a lot more fun to go deeper,” said David Wisseman, his wife adding that “inevitably there will be movies that we can’t mention.”

Within the maze itself, guests will have the opportunity to participate in several games and activities for all ages, including movie trivia.

“Movie trivia is simply the best subject there is,” said Jess Wisseman. “Movie fans are going to have a great time answering our 20 questions that touch on all aspects of film, film and Hollywood.”

There will also be a scavenger hunt and a chance to be ‘Mike’s Movie Executive Producer’, where kids will spin a wheel to find out what their movie is and then have to tap into their creativity to act out their movie. Additionally, David Wisseman said they have a new 25-foot high rope climber on their playground that “will make you think you’re a Hollywood stunt man.”

The ongoing drought and some voracious squirrels living in the Riverside cemetery presented challenges for the maze’s growth, but Jess Wisseman said moving some of the popcorn kernels in the design helped them solve the problem . “It was a really gloomy scene, honestly,” she said of the day their corn cutter arrived. “Fortunately, the design offered an opportunity to design an uneven border.”

Jess Wisseman said the pandemic has given people a new appreciation for “outdoor outdoor entertainment” and they look forward to continuing to provide that outlet for people.

“These have been energizing years for Mike’s Maze and we look forward to another,” she said. “There is something for every taste.”

Mike’s Maze opened on Friday and will run until November 6. The maze is open Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at mikesmaze.com or in person. Adult tickets are $16, tickets for children ages 5-12 are $14, and children under 4 are admitted free. Rates are reduced on Fridays, but some activities, such as face painting and pony rides, are not available.

Chris Larabee can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4081.

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