Weave your way through this Bison maze in Pelican Rapids, Minn.
PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. -- The calendar has turned to October and for most of us that means taking advantage of the last few autumn weeks before winter arrives. For some that means taking in local pumpkin patches to get in the fall spirit and for others it is tailgating outside the Fargodome to cheer on North Dakota State. Both are quite popular in the metro this time of year.
If you are looking for a way to combine the two, you can. Enter Thea’s Pumpkin Patch south of Pelican Rapids.
The family-owned pumpkin patch has created this year’s corn maze as the NDSU logo and a hand with the horns up on the almost 12-acre corn maze.
Mike Olson along with his wife, Brenda, and 11-year-old daughter, Thea, started Thea’s Pumpkin Patch six years ago by selling pumpkins at the end of the road to this year featuring multiple attractions for both young and old. Last year’s corn maze was Charlie Brown and Linus in honor of the 50th anniversary of “The Great Pumpkin.” This year Brenda suggested a more local theme, the Bison logo.
“Last year in the fall, people would come over on Saturday and we would move a TV outside and watch the Bison game. Then my wife this winter mentioned doing an NDSU theme this year and I hesitated for a bit on it but then asked a few people and everyone seemed to think it was a good idea, a buddy of mine had a contact at NDSU and we started planning,” Mike Olson said.
The Olson’s started working with The MAiZE company in Utah that specializes in corn mazes and Troy Goergen, senior associate director of athletics for NDSU on a design and plan to bring this idea to life.
“It’s a process, we went back and forth for a couple months before everyone was happy,” Mike said of how the design came to be finalized.
Fast forward to the springtime and planting season. Shada Seeds of Pelican Rapids donated and planted the seeds for almost a dozen acres the first week in June. After the seeds were planted, the Olsons watered and let the corn grow to about 6-8 inches high. Once the corn reached that height at the end of June, The MAiZE company carefully cut the design of the horns up and NDSU logo according to the design.
“You want to cut it when it is small, then let it grow and keep it clean,” Olson said.
Olson said his daughter is pretty excited about the corn maze this year.
“She’s 11 years old and wants to go to NDSU to be a veterinarian,” he said. Olson said all the proceeds go towards Thea’s college fund.
Olson said the pumpkin patch keeps growing year after year. What started out as a small project has grown to where the Olsons have eight acres of pumpkins planted, a petting zoo, hay rides, concessions and helicopter rides. Individuals can get an aerial view of the corn maze for $50 per person on select weekends.
Olson said the pumpkin patch is open daily and will remain open through Halloween, weather permitting.
“We’ve been busy this season, there is a lot of interest in the corn maze,” Olson said.
With warm temperatures on the horizon for the weekend, Olson anticipates interest to stay high through the rest of the season.
“You look at the following the Bison have, I think we are going to hit a home run this year,” Olson said.
While the Bison march toward another championship on the football field, may the strength of the herd be with you as you work your way through the Bison corn maze at Thea’s Pumpkin Patch.
If you go, Olson says to look for the green Bison sign on along U.S. Highway 59 and Appaloosa Road or visit their website, here.