Shryock's Corn Maze opens for the season
COLUMBIA - Shryock's Corn Maze is officially open for the 2017 season and ready to welcome thousands of people to explore miles of trails.
Shryocks Callaway Farms is a family-owned farm more than 100 years old. The Shryock family farms 3,000 acres of corn and soy beans and hosts a corn maze every fall.
"We started this thing 16 years ago," Family Farm Owner Dustin Shryock said. "We really didn't know if anybody would want to come, but people just keep coming back."
The Shryock family picks a new theme every year for the 16-acre maze. This year, they went with a Mizzou Tigers theme.
"We've been basketball fans here forever," Shryock said. "We're just huge supporters of the program and like to incorporate it into our maze whenever we get the chance."
The maze contains eight checkpoints to find with trivia questions about Mizzou basketball history.
Shryock said about 18,000 people came through the corn maze last year.
"That was our best season," he said.
Maze attendance usually picks up in October, according to Shryock.
"When people are ready to go pick a pumpkin, we usually expect big attendance those weekends," he said.
People can also enjoy a fun barn with swings and slides for young children and the classic giant gumball machine in the lobby. All money raised from these activities goes back towards the farm in some way.
Shryock said maze-goers are interested in how his family creates the maze.
"We create GPS coordinates to kind of create a connect-the-dots image of the design," he said.
After deciding the design around May, Shryock said his family uses the GPS software to plot the maze. They then cut out the coordinates with a lawn mower when the corn is about a foot tall, which normally takes two to three days.
Shryock said he's most looking forward to families spending time together and enjoying the fall weather.
"We're just excited to share our farms with all our friends and neighbors," he said.
Shryock's Corn Maze will run through November 5. It is open Fridays 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays 2 to 6 p.m.