First annual Freaky Friday and Pumpkin Palooza launch unique tourist spot

It’s still not too late to get lost, or scared, at Cobb’s Corn Maze. Located at the east edge of Calgary, the facility has many different activities for families to enjoy during the fall season.

On the weekends in October, Cobb’s has been hosting their first annual Freaky Friday and Pumpkin Palooza event.

Mike Sheppard, who owns Cobb’s Corn Maze alongside his wife Maureen, is very pleased with both events, which have attracted approximately 1,200 people over the past few weekends.

 “We didn’t know what to expect really, but we’re very happy with the results and with the attendance so far,” says Sheppard.

Mike Sheppard owns Cobb’s Corn Maze with his wife Maureen. According to this year’s first Pumpkin Palooza and Freaky Friday event turnouts, they hope to make this an annual event.

Photo by Allison Badger“Every kid is going to come in here and walk through the patch and pick a pumpkin. I don’t really care if they buy them, if they do that’s great — but it’s about the experience.”

It’s much more of an experience to select a pumpkin outdoors rather than at a grocery store from a bin, one of the reasons why Sheppard wants to keep this as an annual event, perhaps even adding more pumpkin themed activities at the maze located in the north east.

Sheppard purchased 3,000 to 4,000 pumpkins from a farmer near Taber, Alta., for his Pumpkin Palooza. This makeshift pumpkin patch allows families to walk around, pick out a pumpkin or two, and take those cute candid photos.

Keeping with the pumpkin theme, Sheppard and his staff are also offering pumpkin cheesecake fudge and pumpkin spiced lattes.

Produced by Allison Badger

Freaky Fridays throughout October start when the sun goes down, allowing for participants to wander through the corn maze with flashlights.

There are also three haunted houses that are actually from another Halloween event, Screamfest, which Sheppard also owns and holds in Calgary at the Stampede grounds.

“We have extra haunted houses that we weren’t using because we swap them out every year so that it’s different. So I said, ‘Why don’t we just put them out?’” says Sheppard about adding the houses extra at the corn maze.

The only difference is these haunted houses don’t feature actors acting all scary. But according to 10-year-old Camila Effa and her friends, it’s still quite spooky.

“We’re a bunch of chickens. But my favourite part is that they really are scary,” reviewed Effa after leaving a haunted house.

Cobb’s Corn Maze has come a long way since two years ago when the land was bare. It is their first full season and organizers have many plans for the future. What started out as just a corn maze now includes tractor rides, archery tag and pedal carts — not to mention the inflatable human-sized hamster balls.

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“It’s something fun that can become a family tradition,” says Sheppard.

vstey@cjournal.ca