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Rough and Ready gets dizzy

Eileen JoyceA bird's-eye view of a cow and calf design for this year's The MAiZE celebration in Rough and Ready.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

If you see two couples who look dizzy in Rough and Ready this year, there’s a good reason.

For the past six months, Gina and Brett Gippner have been building the annual corn maze, along with friends Curt and Debbie Chittock.

Seen from a bird’s-eye view, this year’s maze design is of a cow and calf that was created by Brett Herbst, the world’s leading designer of more than 330 corn mazes. Every year an object is hidden in the maze to make it more fun, and this year – inside the corny labyrinth officially called The MaiZE – is a cowbell. If you can find it, ring it.



The maze will open Oct. 1 and is located on Cattle Drive in Rough and Ready, across Highway 20 from the Western Gateway Park ball fields. Follow the signs and the sunflowers.

Debbie Chittock says to plan on 45 minutes to an hour to maneuver through the two miles – and 85 decision points – of twists and turns.




It’s easy to get lost in the midst of the cornstalks, some towering 18 feet tall, Chittock said. She admits that a month ago she and Gina Gippner got disoriented in the maze, wandering aimlessly for 45 minutes.

“We hadn’t even gone out of the section where the kindergarten classes go,” Gippner said, adding that their chuckling husbands had turned deaf ears to their calls for help.

Maze-goers who come in October, however, will be assisted by maze employees – “corn cops” – who will provide a clue or two to get the bewildered back on course.

Adjacent to The MaiZE is Cow Town. Stroll down “main street,” and check out the general store. Try milking Josephine the wooden cow, pet a pig, buy a pumpkin, take a hay ride and more. Admission to Cow Town is free.

The Sacramento Kings are helping out this year, as well. Tickets will be available to win a framed, numbered and signed photograph of Kings star Bobby Johnson. Proceeds go to purchasing a wheelchair for the handicapped basketball program.

Thirty school field trips to The MaiZE have already been scheduled, Chittock said. A few openings, however, are still available to classes and groups that want a customized agriculture lesson – right in the field.

WHAT: The MAiZE

WHEN: October, Tuesday-Thursdays, 4 p.m. until dark; Fridays, 4-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Other days and times by reservation.

WHERE: 18074 Cattle Dr., Rough and Ready

ADMISSION: $8, ages 12 and up; $6, ages 6-11; kids 5 and under get in free. Family, group and field-trip discounts. Available for purchase: pumpkins, country crafts, food and drink. No cost for parking or Cow Town activities.

TICKETS: Pleasant Valley Pharmacy in Penn Valley, The Book Seller and Ridge Feed in Grass Valley. Discounts if purchased before Oct. 1.$2 off adult price, $1 off child price.

INFORMATION: 432-3654 or visit http://www.cornfieldmaze.com.


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