OXFORD -- Fall is right around the corner, and that means it's time for Colonel Cob's Corn Maze to kick off a season of fun.
Operated by the Mitcham family of Oxford and located at 797 Macedonia Church Road in Oxford, the seven-acre cornfield maze has become a popular attraction, drawing as many as 7,000 visitors a year. The maze includes 2.5 miles of paths for exploration, and this year's design is Grandmother Spider, a character in Native American folklore.
"We try to do something new every year, and this year, we'll have a Native American theme," said Mitcham family patriarch Tommy Mitcham.
The grand opening will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. On Friday, 100 percent of admission fees collected will benefit The Miracle League of Newton County, a nonprofit raising funds to build a baseball field for special- needs children. A portion of admission fees collected on Saturday will also go to the charity.
Admission to the maze is $8 per person. Children 3 and under are free. Hayrides are an additional $4, or tickets for the maze and hayrides can be purchased for $10.
"We were just honored they selected us as the non-profit they wanted to give opening gate proceeds to, because there's a lot of worthy causes in town," said Miracle League consultant Tamara Richardson. "We're going to have some great music and clogging. If you're planning to come to the corn maze this fall, we hope you come this weekend and support us."
The following is the entertainment lineup for opening weekend:
* 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. -- Shane Millwood Band
* 8:30 to 10 p.m. -- The Little Gum Creek Band featuring Steve Biggers
* 2 to 3 p.m. -- April Draper
* 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. -- Sole Momentum -- cloggers
* 5 to 6 p.m. -- Special Olympics athletes performance
* 6 to 7 p.m. -- Drew Parker & Band
* 7:15 to 8 p.m. -- David Tinoco -- impersonator
* 8 to 10 p.m. -- Hannah Thomas
In addition to the maze, Colonel Cob's features a pumpkin patch, hayrides, a bonfire, children's play area, a giant mountain slide, petting zoo, corn silo, helicopter rides, and more. Special events this season include Scout Day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 9, which will include storytelling and presentations by Okefenokee Joe. All scouts will receive a corn maze patch and a reduced admission rate. The event is also open to the general public.
The Native American Green Corn Festival and PowWow will take place Oct. 15-17 and include storytelling, dancing, music, food and crafts. The Fall Break Festival will take place Oct. 18-22, during the week Newton County students are out of school on fall holiday.
Costumes in the Corn will be held Oct. 29-31, where revelers wearing costumes will receive a free mini pumpkin. A magic show will take place at 3 p.m. Oct. 30, and the fall season finale will take place Nov. 7, to be celebrated with special treats and giveaways.
Also, during the last two weekends in September, all firefighters, law enforcement, EMTs, active military and teachers will receive free admission with proper ID. On Sept. 24-25, grandparents attending with their grandchildren will receive free admission. Special admission prices for 4H and FFA program members will be in effect Oct. 21. Check www.colcobscornmaze.com for more information and updates on events.