Maine Crowns New Columbus At Annual Corn Maze Festival

corn maze aboveHappy Columbus Day, Modern Philosophers!

I was extremely excited to go to the Annual Corn Maze Festival, which has been a Maine Columbus Day tradition for decades.  Word was that this year’s maze would be the most difficult ever created.

The Corn Maze Festival serves several purposes.  It gets Mainers into the Autumn spirit by bringing them together on a beautiful farm, feeding them traditional Fall foods like pumpkin pie, apple cider, and lobster stew, and giving them a preview of some of the floats that will be featured in this year’s Halloween Parade.

corn mazeThe Corn Maze itself is responsible for the most important part of the day’s festivities, however.  The first person to make it out of the maze from the starting point in its center is crowned King or Queen of The Halloween Parade and gets to ride on the lead float.

The last one out of the maze, the one who gets lost for hours and cannot find his or her way back to the outside world, is given the dubious title of “Columbus”.

This “lost soul” then must wear a dorky Columbus hat and a sash which reads “Help me!  I’m lost!!!” for the rest of the Festival.

“The tradition of crowning the last person out of the maze as the Columbus began almost 40 years ago,” Festival Chairwoman Maria Pintalones explained to this Modern Philosopher.  “Someone yelled it out like a joke.  They said something like ‘You got lost even worse than Columbus did’.  Everyone laughed, one of the radio stations picked up on it and then donated the hat and sash the next year, and it just became a thing.”

ColumbusNot everyone is thrilled with the crowing of the “Columbus”, though.  “It is such a dishonor to the man we basically owe our way of life to,” explained Leo Bradley, a member of the local chapter of The Knights of Columbus.  “If Columbus hadn’t discovered America, where the hell would everyone be living right now?  They’d all be stuck up Europeans, speaking some foreign language, driving on the wrong side of the road, and loving soccer.”

But isn’t it a fact that Columbus set out to discover a new trade route to Asia, got horribly lost, and discovered the New World totally be accident?

“The man is practically a saint!” Bradley wailed and shook his fist at the revelers waiting outside of the corn maze for this year’s Columbus to emerge.  “This is an outrage!”

Eventually, Billy Moore, 19, of Milford found his way out of the maze in a near record time of 8 hours and 12 minutes.  He was given his hat and sash and carried off on the shoulders of adoring fans and relieved relatives.  Over eight hours???

happy_columbus_dayI had an amazing time at the Corn Maze festival, Modern Philosophers.  It put me in the Autumn spirit, and one of these years, I might even get up the courage to participate in the competition.

With my sense of direction, though, I fear I’ll earn a dubious title that isn’t much fun.

Happy Columbus Day!

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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14 Responses to Maine Crowns New Columbus At Annual Corn Maze Festival

  1. floridaborne says:

    The Vikings have been credited with finding the new world, but there’s evidence that trade was going on between ancient civilizations long before that.

    THe corn maze sounds like a great way to spend a day. Take a backpack with a lunch and watch the frustrated people go by??

  2. cat9984 says:

    You only eat lobster stew in the fall? I never knew that (we don’t have many lobsters in Michigan). Are they more ripe (or whatever) then?

  3. You only need to add cornbread, corn cake, corn fritters,creamed corn, corn pancakes with maple syrup and forget about Columbus…….

  4. ksbeth says:

    i love the corn mazes and i have the absolute worst sense of direction on the planet. i think i could be a contender –

  5. Micheng says:

    Haha! That is really dorky to be wearing a sash “help me I am lost” .. gosh, better find a way out huh! happy Columbus again.

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