Corn-i-ville is an a-MAIZE-ing success

There was a costume parade for the kids where judges picked two winners for best costume. Photo Credit: Anne Kunkel Four-year-old Xander Noraker hauled his dinosaur tail through the mud as he raced his younger brother Aiden Marz through a corn maze looking for more candy.

“They’re having a good time,” said the boy’s grandmother, Louella Heckathorne. “I’m the one who’s going to need a nap after this.”

The boys were enjoying Corn-i-ville, a family fun day put on by the producers of Engwalls Corn Maze and community volunteers on Oct. 29, 2011.

“This is our first year doing this event,” said Tracy Lundeen, event coordinator and partner at Engwalls. “The Engwalls Corn Maze concept is ‘Agritainment’ (something that has both agriculture and entertainment). This year we wanted to have other things going on the make it a more entertaining experience, so we introduced Corn-i-Ville.”

The event took place on the grounds at Engwalls, off Hermantown Road in Duluth, Minn., and had many different activities for children and families. There was everything from face painting, to a kissing booth with Hershey Kisses, to lollipop trees, to bean bag games, and even the popular eyeball toss.

“My favorite part was the corn canon,” said six-year-old John Taylor, who was dressed as a space alien. “I shot my corn all the way over the barn!”

“The kids get to do a little bit of everything today,” said Debi Paaso, a volunteer handing out pop. “It’s our first endeavor, but it’s a success.”

Eyeball toss!  Where kids throw gooey candy eyeballs into the pumpkins to win prizes. Photo Credit: Anne Kunkel

Rose Hoene and her dog Truman stood outside the entrance to the corn maze, handing out trick or treat bags. The maze featured about 10 candy stations where kids could fill up their bags, if they didn’t get too lost along the way.

“Everyone I’ve seen come out of that maze today has had a big smile on their face,” said Hoene.

“The maze has about one mile of trails,” said Lundeen. “We thought that having candy handed out through the maze would make things fun.”

Later in the afternoon, the kids were also invited to be a part of a costume parade. They lined up and strutted their stuff for family and friends, while a small panel of judges looked for a winning costume. They chose two first place winners: Owin Holm, a firefighter, and Virginia Ann Podenski, who was an angel.

“I’m really excited about winning,” said Podenski. “I won a free night at the water park and mom says we can go sometime soon!”

Corn-i-ville also offered some perks for the volunteers. For every regular admission ticket sold, one dollar would go to the organizations that helped run the event.

“We were able to donate $300 to Marshall School’s National Honor Society, another $300 to the Superior Figure Skaters, and approximately $300 to various other charities that volunteered Saturday,” said Lundeen.

Over 400 people attended the festivities, which volunteers and Engwalls are willing to call an extreme success.

“We will be doing this again next year,” said Lundeen.

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