MERIDIAN, Idaho — An Idaho corn maze that has attracted national attention several times in past years has chosen a light-hearted approach this year: The image of comedian Jimmy Fallon.
“It’s something a little different than what we’ve done before,” said Meridian farmer Jim Lowe, owner of the The Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival. “We wanted something that would be light-hearted and playful.”
Around the nation, Star Trek and “Back the Blue” themes in support of police officers are popular designs this year.
But Lowe said that with all the serious issues facing the world, he wanted a design that would allow people to escape the seriousness for awhile and remember to laugh.
“We just wanted to focus on relaxing, having fun and remembering the value of being light-hearted in spite of whatever is going on around us in the world,” he said. “Sometimes you need that breath of fresh air.”
Fallon is a former Saturday Night Live star and the current host of the Tonight Show.
“Maybe, if we can get inside Jimmy’s head, we can all come out a little more light-hearted,” Lowe stated in a news release.
The Farmstead’s designs in past years include likenesses of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama during that election year, a bumblebee, Abraham Lincoln, a trout, and the Statue of Liberty.
Some of the designs have been featured in Time magazine, Good Morning America, USA Today, New York Magazine and on the Today Show.
Two of the nation’s most popular corn maze themes this year are Star Trek and “Back the Blue,” according to Mazeplay owner Shawn Stolworthy of Idaho Falls, whose business cut 110 mazes around the United States this year.
After a picture of one Back the Blue maze that Mazeplay created in Georgia was posted on Facebook, it generated more than a million views in a few days, Stolworthy said.
The Star Trek design is in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first airing of the Star Trek TV series. “That one went huge,” Stolworthy said.
Eagle, Idaho, farmer Jeff Smith said he chose the Back the Blue theme for his corn maze this year because he wanted to bring attention to the important and sometimes under-appreciated role that police officers play in society.
His maze features a police officer holding a German shepherd next to a squad car, with an “Idaho” silhouette in the background.
Smith said he wanted to show police officers in a positive light to the multitude of kids that go through the maze.
“I said, ‘How do we make cops the heroes in front of kids,’ because they are,” he said. “It’s just a positive thing in support of police; it’s not political.”