Growing up in and around the agriculture industry, Bob and Gina Tyhuis enjoy sharing their love for the outdoors with others.
For the second year in the row, the Echo transplants have revived fall fun with the Echo Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch. The attraction opens this week with two miles of winding pathways cut through an 8-acre cornfield near downtown Echo at 100 N. Dupont St.
Regular hours are Wednesdays from 3-9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Oct. 26-27 from 3-9 p.m. A decision will be made as the date gets closer if the attraction will be open on Halloween. The Field of Screams, which offers a haunted experience, is available Saturday, Oct. 21, Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, from 7-9 p.m.
Gina Tyhuis is particularly looking forward to the frightful fun. This summer’s warm weather contributed to extraordinary growth by the cornstalks, which tower at 12-13 feet, she said.
“I haunted for the first time last year,” Tyhuis said. “It’s fun to see people smile and have a good time.”
The $10 wristband includes wandering through the corn maze, the corn crib (like a big sand box, only with kernels of corn), a mini maze, straw bale maze and a tunnel maze (for wee ones). Additional activities, including the zipline and kiddie carts are $2 per ride. The Field of Screams is $12, which includes the regular maze. The event also offers limited concessions.
Tyhuis said people also can pick up fall decorations, including corn stalks, gourds and ears of corn. And, there are lots of varieties of pumpkins to choose from, which are available for purchase by the pound.
“It will be fun for people to hunt for that perfect pumpkin,” she said.
Moving to Echo nearly three years ago, the Tyhuis family decided to celebrate last year’s “adoption month” in a special way. It was the second October since adopting their son, Brent, who will be 4 in the spring.
“We wanted him to have a corn maze. What a gift for a kid and the community,” Tyhuis said. “I like that we’re not a carnival, we’re just good outdoor fun.”
The daughter of Lloyd and Lois Piercy, Tyhuis said her family has their own farm and is involved with Echo West Vineyard.
Offering the corn maze and other attractions to the community, Tyhuis said, is a way to help people make the connection from farm to table.
“It’s just fun to see everyone enjoying agriculture,” she said. “It’s the end of the season. It’s a fun celebration.”