Halloween maze returns to South Shore

PO‘IPU — If you build it, they will come.

That’s what happened last Halloween when Kaua‘i Christian Fellowship created the island’s first corn maze along Ala Kinoiki, or the Koloa bypass road, in Po‘ipu. Now the church is raising the bar with a new treat for the island’s residents and visitors.

The “Alien Adventure Corn Maze” opens Friday and though the island is notoriously cautious when it comes to alien species, organizer Pastor Rick Bundschuh promises that extra terrestrials will abound on the South Shore. The new maze has been shaped like a giant crop circle.

“It arcs,” said Bundschuh. “In the very center there’s a big cut-out area where we can put performers, magicians, aliens or whatever we want.”

The project is a unique partnership between Kaua‘i Christian Fellowship, leaders of Grove Farm Company and Pioneer Hi-Bred International. The concept first came about two years ago when Bundschuh got into a discussion about GPS-designed corn mazes with members of his congregation and neighbors who work for Pioneer.

“As happened last year, we had a lot of help from local businesses to make this family event possible,” said Bundschuh. “Pioneer Seed Company, Grove Farm, AJAR and Syngenta all jumped in to contribute their labor, land, seed and expertise. Without them, we could never pull this off.”

The maze will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout October and weekdays from Oct. 25 through Oct. 30. The maze will also be open for “Lunar Madness” on Friday and Saturday nights.

“A lot of teenagers and people looking for a real challenge like to go through with their flashlight,” said Bundschuh of the after-dark activity. “The daytime is real family-friendly; there aren’t any scary monsters or anything like that.”

As it did last year, Kaua‘i Christian Fellowship flew in Rob Stouffer of Missouri-based Precision Mazes to create the maze.

“Kaua‘i is my favorite project,” said Stouffer. “It’s the last maze of the season (for us) so after finishing it, my wife and I spent another six days on the island relaxing and celebrating in God’s tropical creation.”

Stouffer said the current maze is even bigger and bolder than his creation last year, and that the size of the field has increased from 2.1 acres to 2.6 acres.

“There are 8,227 feet of path — more than a mile and a half — as compared to about one mile of path last year,” said Stouffer.

The cost is $7 for adults, and $5 for children 12 and under, by donation. “Lunar Madness” on Friday and Saturday nights costs an additional dollar for all ages. Special group rates and off-day tours are available.

Bundschuh estimates that around 3,000 visitors and residents wound their way through the maze in 2005, and expects this year’s maze to be even more popular than the last.

“As long as Grove Farm and Pioneer are willing to partner with us and help us with this, we’ll do a maze every year and change it every year so it’s never the same experience.”

• Todd A. Vines is the editor of Essential Kauai, Kauai Publishing Company’s visitor publication. He can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 256) or tvines@kauaipubco.com.

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