When it was time for the people at Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove to decide this year's corn maze theme, picking the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs was a "no-brainer."
So after getting permission from the big-league club, they designed an epic corn tapestry featuring Wrigley Field, the team's iconic logo, the marquee blaring the message "World Champs," and Harry Caray's image with his catchphrase "Holy Cow."
George Richardson, the farm's owner, said the design was difficult to plan and execute, but he's pleased with the result. The process took several months, he said.
"We tried to make it look as though it was a scene as seen from the air," Richardson said.
Among the challenges was ensuring the design would function as a maze, so the "lines" -- the paths where people walk -- had to be 6 feet wide.
"When you're drawing a detailed picture, you could use shading and variation of sizes of lines," Richardson said. "But this has to be a rather broad brush stroke to draw this picture."
After finalizing the design, Richardson operators had to plant the corn, a difficult process they say they've gotten better at since the first maze was created 17 years ago. Now they use a tractor rigged with two GPS trackers and a computer loaded with custom crop maze planting software that tells the driver exactly where to go down to the thousandth of a mile.
Richardson said the software system belongs to the Idaho-based company Maze Play, which designs mazes across the country.
The planting was done May 23, which is late in the season, so the corn would be greener and taller in the fall. The 28-acre maze stays open through October and the corn stalks are now nearly 7 feet tall.
Richardson said he hasn't settled on a design theme for next year's maze, but if the Cubs repeat, he may have to honor them again.
"We don't have plans to, but if it was a back-to-back, that would be so phenomenal I think we'd have to do it again," he said. "That would really be fun."
To get lost in the maze, go to Richardson Adventure Farm at 909 English Prairie Road in Spring Grove.