The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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September 7, 2013

Festival offers non-scary fall fun

No tricks, just a-mazing time

HOLLSOPPLE — Fall fun will be down on the farm with a corn maze, hayrides and children’s activities.

The annual harvest festival at Faranda’s Farm, 1171 Penn Ave., Hollsopple, will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 21 and 28, 1 to 6 p.m. Sept. 22 and 29, and in October from 4 p.m. to dusk Fridays, 11 a.m. to dusk Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays.

The 50-acre farm owned by Phil and Mary Faranda is located along Route 601, just a short drive from Route 219 toward Hollsopple.

Mary Faranda said this is the 19th year for the festival and the sixth or seventh for the corn maze.

“There will be a demonstration of shelling field corn, which was someone’s job at the turn of the century, and a corn grinder for cornmeal,” Faranda said. “These are fun but educational presentations for children and adults.”

The 2013 maze theme is “Corn: Kernel to Cob.”

Those who go into the maze will receive a passport with a series of 10 questions about corn they must answer.

“There will be 10 numbers at the intersections that coordinate with the questions,” Faranda said. “On the passport, there are three answers to choose from for each question. Every answer, right or wrong, tells them the direction to go in.”

Those who try the maze are advised to dress warmly and bring a flashlight.

Food will be available, but no alcoholic beverages will be allowed.

The whole experience is a non-scary alternative to Halloween.

Flashlight nights in the corn maze will be held Oct. 18-19 and 25-26.

Guests can come in the afternoon for barnyard activities and negotiate the maze, which is not handicapped accessible, after dusk.

One hour should be allowed to complete the maze. The last admission to the maze will be at 8 p.m.

The farm closes at 9 on flashlight nights.

Flashlight nights also feature a fire ring and barnyard activities during daylight hours.

Barnyard activities include hayrides, hay maze, hay fort, children’s play area, feeding the animals, bean bag toss, duck races, little tike rally, I spy game, par 1 golf, corn hole toss and the giant slingshot.

There also will be pumpkins and squash with recipes and gourds, Indian corn and crafts for fall decorating.

“You have to plan to be here all afternoon to do all the fun things,” Faranda said. “Everyone likes the hay fort. No matter what age, they have a good time with it.”

The barnyard pass includes everything but the corn maze for $7, and the fun farm pass includes everything for $11.

Those who bring a nonperishable food item will receive $1 off barnyard and fun farm admissions. All donations will be given to area food banks.

The rate for groups of more than 20 is $10, and church groups pay $9.

Field trips are available for schools and other groups by reservation only, at a cost of $7 per person.

“We arrange it for when it’s convenient for them,” Faranda said.

“This is a hands-on experience. We’re like an ag-education center,” she said. “We’ll talk about the life cycle of corn, all the varieties and corn products. The field trip includes a pumpkin, a hayride and playtime.”

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.

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