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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Dixon corn maze bigger than ever

The 2007 Guinness Book of World Record’s “Largest Corn Maze in the World” has grown.

Cool Patch Pumpkins, located in Dixon, has grown three acres since last year to a size of 43 acres. It is also the site of a complex consisting of a pumpkin patch boasting over 2,000 pumpkins of 30 varieties, a food area with tri-tip sandwiches and hot dogs and a children’s play area complete with a mountain of straw.

Before becoming a maze, each year’s corn crop is planted on the 4th of July, and consists of “just regular field corn” which grows to between eight and 12 feet, said owner Matt Cooley.

In its fourth season, the maze this year is rumored to be at its most difficult.

“Every year my brother and my niece, who goes to UC Davis, come up with an idea from scratch,” Cooley said. “They get on a spreadsheet and just start making circles and lines … so it takes about a week of messing around with it to come up with the design.”

The maze is cut by hand after the design is finalized.

After the season ends on Nov. 9, the corn is either chopped up immediately or set to dry until spring to be used for cattle feed, he said.

Although the Guinness World Record was not originally a goal, about two years ago the Cooley brothers happened to look up the current corn maze record, which was only 27 acres, Cooley said.

“At that time we had 38 acres, so the next year our goal would be to make [the record] official,” he said.

The rest is history. After applying in 2007, Cool Patch Pumpkins became the world’s largest corn maze with its monstrous 40 acres.

Officially the maze measured 163,853.83 square meters (40,489 acres) and is classified as the Largest Temporary Corn/Crop Maze, said Guinness World Record spokesperson Shannon Swaggerty.

As for the process of applying for a world record, candidates must fill out the “Break a World Record” form located on the Guinness World Records website, Swaggerty said.

“If our records management team approves the application they will then send you the necessary guidelines for your attempt,” she said. “The whole process takes anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.”

Although the maze has increased in size this year, Cooley said that they did not bother to update the record.

“We just made it bigger to say that it’s bigger,” he said.

Cool Patch Pumpkins owners also dreamed up a Scarecrow Contest for the 2008 season, complete with prizes totaling $5,000 and a “gigantic finale,” called The Ultimate Pumpkin Smash.

Other attractions include a Hay Ride, Pedal Karts and Tricycles to rent, play houses and teepees for kids and a corn bath.

Cool Patch Pumpkins associate Gina Williams said the maze is good for both the Dixon community and for Northern California, as the maze boasts attendees from as far as San Jose, San Francisco and Redding.

“Also we host parties,” Williams said. “Anything from birthday get-togethers to group events, we can do it.”

On weekends, the 100-acre complex holds anywhere from 300 to 600 people in a day. Estimates for total attendance were not available.

Cool Patch Pumpkins is open daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under, and groups of 15 or more receive a $1 reduction on each ticket.

The patch is located at 8850 Currey Road, or 8700 Sievers Road, in Dixon.

 

AARON BRUNER can be reached at city@californiaaggie.com.

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