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A cut above; Wings are A-mazing

Friday, 09.11.2009 / 11:20 AM / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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A cut above; Wings are A-mazing
Located in Belleville, Mich., about a 30-minute drive west of Detroit, Norman DeBuck's cornfield has been cut into a Red Wings' maze.
BELLEVILLE, Mich. -- The Winged Wheel logo the Red Wings wear across their chests has been recreated many times by fans throughout the years.  It has been put on birthday cakes, carved out of blocks of ice, and painted on fans’ faces. 

But it’s safe to say that a farm in southeastern Michigan has done something with the Wings’ logo that hasn’t been done before.

The Winged Wheel is now the subject of a corn maze.

Norman DeBuck, owner and founder of the New Lawn Sod Farm in Belleville, said that while the state’s poor economy interferes with business, he and his two sons began brainstorming ideas to keep the family company afloat.

“The sod business is just … it’s been dying lately,” DeBuck said. “So we had to find something else, and we know the agro tourist business has been pretty good, and my son mentioned we should look into doing a Halloween thing or a maze.”

And so the idea of a corn maze was born. DeBuck, 48, and his son attended a convention in St. Louis in March where they met Shawn Stolworthy, an Idaho farmer, who now travels the country every summer building corn mazes (to see his work, check out www.mazeplay.com).

Stolworthy was in Belleville a few weeks ago, and had the project completed in a day.

“To make the maze, he spent about six hours, with a tractor and a roto-tiller and a GPS system,” DeBuck said. “That’s how they cut it in, they do a grid on it, then they go out there with a tractor and the roto-tiller, and go out and cut down the paths.”

The New Lawn Sod Farm is ready for Wings’ fans to come check out their new maze. Hockey and maze enthusiasts alike can run through the Red Wings’ logo and two players, with corn-stalk walls that stand eight-feet tall.

“The more difficult side of it, which would take you in the Red Wings’ emblem and the hockey player on the left, it takes about 45-minutes to go from one check point to another and through the whole thing,” DeBuck said. “There’s three different mazes, so there’s three entrances and three exits, there’s only one way in and one way out. But once inside, there’s different paths you can take.”

Debuck said going with the Red Wings was an easy choice, because of his lifelong alliances. The two players used for the corn maze are generic, but if DeBuck could have picked, he would have chosen hall-of-fame inductee Steve Yzerman and goalie Chris Osgood.

“We were either going to go with the Wings or the Detroit Tigers,” DeBuck said. “We wanted to stick with a home team, and we wanted the Red Wings because it’s a fall sport, a fall activity.”

The corn maze is not the only tourist attraction at New Lawn Sod Farm. DeBuck said that there are plenty of things for the family to do. 

“We have corn cannons, we have a little carnival area for the kids. We have a corn box, which is like a sand box with shelled corn in it, and the kids just love that. We have several piles of sand, kids love playing in the sand.”

New Lawn Sod Farm is open to the public from 6-10 p.m. on Fridays; 1-10 p.m. on Saturdays; and 12-7 p.m. on Sundays. They also host private events throughout the week for school groups. To get more information, check out www.newlawnsodfarm.com.





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