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New Mexico

Southern New Mexico corn mazes to open with safety guidelines during pandemic

DONA ANA COUNTY, New Mexico -- For many families in the Borderland, taking a ride to the corn maze fields to pick your own pumpkin is a tradition every fall. This year however, that tradition will be a bit different due to the pandemic.

"In the past 21 years this is the first time that we won't be able to open the maze and the activities," said Karoline Sondgeroth, Manager for La Union Maze.

Families have enjoyed kicking off the fall season at La Union Maze for more than 20 years, but after receiving new state guidelines, La Union Maze made the decision to change the way they would be operating the pumpkin patch and corn maze this year.

"We're going to be implementing all of the recommended and suggested practices here at the maze," said Sondgeroth.

The iconic corn maze, games and activities will be closed this year but families will still be able to pick their own pumpkin from the comfort of their own car.

"Every 30 minutes we're going to have cars come out to the pumpkin patch where they can socially distance and pick their own pumpkins," explained Sondgeroth.

Families who do plan on heading out to the pumpkin patch are encouraged to bring gardening gloves, long shirt sleeves, shoes they are willing to get dirty, mosquito repellent a hat and sunscreen.

Anyone planning to make a trip to the pumpkin patch will need to make reservations online before heading out to the pumpkin patch. Masks will also be required and contactless pick up and delivery options will be available as well.

"We'll also have our gift shop open so if you wanna grab a bottle of water and just kinda sit outside and enjoy the outdoors for a little bit, we'll have a few picnic tables where people can do that as well," said Sondgeroth.

Another family favorite, Mesilla Valley Maze in Las Cruces, will also be closing their corn maze but they will be offering families the chance to enjoy their country store and pumpkin junction this year.

"Although the Mesilla Valley Maze is changed this year due to public
safety guidelines from the State of New Mexico, patrons of the long-time family friendly event can visit the farm’s Country Store & Pumpkin Junction each weekend through the month of October. The Country Store & Pumpkin Junction will provide a taste of harvest season in a safe environment," read a press release for the Mesilla Valley Maze.

Families can enjoy crowd-favorite photo opportunities at Mesilla Valley Maze such as the family photo areas, two farm wagon backdrops, and even the traditional “How Tall this Fall” that measures how much children have grown each year.

Although families won't be able to enjoy the attractions at local corn mazes, La Union Maze owners hope that allowing families to head on out here to pick that perfect pumpkin will bring back a sense of normalcy.

"It's been a tradition for a lot of families to come out to the maze every year and so we kinda just wanted to offer that kind of sense of normalcy to at least being able to come out and pick your own pumpkin that way you can take them home and carve, " said Sondgeroth.

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Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.

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