has chosen to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks by creating a patriotic theme for this year's corn maze.
The annual, two month long event draws thousands of families to the 1100 acre farm in Middlefield each year and raises thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society (ACS).
"It's gonna be an American Eagle and a flag," John Lyman III, executive vice president of Lyman Orchards, told Patch. "This is the tenth anniversary of September 11th and people are going to be thinking about it. It will give us an opportunity perhaps, in a subtle way, to recognize some of the heroic efforts of that day."
The maze will celebrate various aspects of patriotism in America, not just the 9/11 anniversary, Lyman said. Like every year, visitors will be asked to answer theme related trivia questions to help them reach the end of the maze.
"The corn maze is a great way for people to experience agriculture," Lyman explained while recalling previous themes, including 2009's honoring of President's Washington and Obama.
"What we found out that year was we could hone in on the education [part of it]. One little kid, he was no more than 10 or 12. He came up and he recited every president. There were a lot of school kids and they loved it."
While this year's corn maze will open on Saturday, Sept. 3, preparations began months ago.
"We work with The Maize, a company out of Utah. We give them the idea and they design it for us," Lyman said. The company, which is owned by world renowned maze designer Brett Herbst, has designed all 12 of Lyman's corn mazes since the first opened back in 2000, and also designs Lyman's sunflower maze.
While Lyman would not reveal the exact science behind creating the design within the corn field, he said the entire field is planted before the cutting actually takes place.
"It's amazing how fast they are and how quickly they can do it."
As the popularity of the corn maze has grown, so to has Lyman's contributions to local chairities.
Last year, Lyman Orchards raised a company record $44,064 for the ACS, running the orchard's 11-year total to $357,098.
"When we started it I had know idea we would be raising the kind of money we have over the years," Lyman said.
One dollar from each admission ticket sold to the corn maze is donated to the ACS. The money is distributed to various chapters of the organization, based on the number of volunteer hours members serve as "cop cops" during the event.
Lyman's also contributes to various community organizations for their volunteer efforts at the corn maze
"What we had hoped would happen, has happened. This has become a real community event and not just something for people to do. It means something to the community," Lyman noted.
For more information on the Lyman Orchards Corn Maze, including a $1.00 off coupon, click here.
Editor's Note: Lyman Orchards' sunflower maze opens July 30. $1 from each admission is donated to the Connecticut Children's Hospital. This year, weather permitting, Lyman Orchards is working with ReMax to offer hot air balloon rides during opening weekend. Tickets are $5 and all of the money raised will benefit the hospital.