Kraay Family Farm celebrates 20th anniversary with Lacombe Corn Maze design

Kraay Family Farm is marking it's 20-year milestone with its 2019 Lacombe Corn Maze design. The farm will be open for the season starting Friday, July 19, 2019. Supplied

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Celebrate an a-MAZE-ing anniversary this summer at the home of the Lacombe Corn Maze.

Kraay Family Farm is opening this Friday, July 19 for what will be their 20th season, and they’re marking the milestone in the best way they know how – as the theme for this year’s maze.

“We were surprised how quickly it came up,” said Rachel Kraay, who owns the farm with her husband, Reuben, and his parents.

“We thought it would be nice to take a moment to celebrate and thank everyone that’s been a part of it, including all our guests.”

While the farm, one of the area’s notable tourist destinations – attracting about 40,000 people annually –  has clearly seen success over the past two decades, it was born from a difficult situation.

Kraay said her husband’s parents were originally hog farmers, and when hog prices took a drop in the 90’s, they began searching for a way to supplement their income.

“Rebuen was travelling around after high school and visited a similar type of farm and told his parents they should give it a try,’ she said. “They like to try new things, so they gave it a whirl and took a chance on it.

“They enjoyed it and had fun with it, so they’ve kept doing it year after year.”

At first, the farm had a few slides and fire pits, but since it’s bloomed into a rural theme park.

The opportunity to visit and feed farm animals, watch pig races, or launch pumpkins through the air are some of the more popular attractions. There’s also a variety of giant board games, carnival games, feats of strength, and miniature golf, as well as more unique features such as a shoot-out, gemstone mining, stalk car racing, and an adventure obstacle course.

This year, they’ve added a few new items, including obstacles for the adventure course, and some new zip line features. They’ve also expanded their corn barn, where kids can play with dry corn.

“The past few years we’ve been looking for old trucks and building some carnival games onto these trucks so we’ve added some of those,” she said.

Of course, the main attraction is the corn maze itself, which features 15 acres of corn, and about four kilometres of paths and three different routes. Altogether, it’s estimated it will take about an hour to an hour and a half to get through.

It might be the oldest corn maze in Alberta, too, but if not, it’s certainly had its share of recognition, earning a Guinness World Record for taking the form of the world’s largest QR code, and becoming the backdrop for one of country artist Paul Brandt’s music videos. It commemorated Canada’s 150th birthday, as well as the first year of the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer.

Now it’s time to celebrate its own  anniversary – and hopefully many more to come.

The farm will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. through Aug. 31, with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m.

Fall hours will start Sept. 2, when the farm will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information on Kraay Family Farm visit their website at www.kraayfamilyfarm.com or follow them on Instagram and like them on Facebook @kraayfamilyfarm.

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