Cornbelly’s goes political

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Hannah Wheelwright, her shoes covered in mud, braves the rain with her fellow political enthusiasts in a friendly competition through an election-themed corn maze at Thanksgiving Point.

Cornbelly’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Fest, located at Thanksgiving Point, has created its 2012 corn maze with a “Vote 2012” design where participants can literally get inside the heads of presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

“The election is kind of a big deal this year,” said Brett Herbst, Cornbelly’s owner and maze creator. “The election is three days after we close. Politics is sort of like a maze and it’s easy to get lost in the maze of politics, so we thought it was perfect timing and it made a great design.”

Gov. Romney and Pres. Obama are embedded as a corn maze at Cornbelly’s in Lehi in honor of the coming election. Courtesy of Cornbelly’s

In addition to designing the maze for politics, Cornbelly’s invited the BYU College Democrats and the BYU College Republicans to race through their candidate’s maze the morning of Sept. 25.

Wheelwright, co-president of the BYU College Democrats, was one of the students huddling together in an effort to keep warm prior to the race. No one had planned on the steady rain and two-inch thick mud as part of the race, which ended up being a tie (due only to the weather conditions, they said).

“I think it’s a fun way to remind people of the political season going on right now,” Wheelwright said from beneath her sweatshirt hood, keeping the rain off her face. “I think it’s a nice break from all of the partisan bickering and the negative ads that we’ve seen. It’s a way to say the election can be fun, it can be something families can get involved in, let’s all just put aside our disagreements and enjoy this fun time together.”

Thomas Wright, chairman of the Utah Republican Party, echoed Wheelwright’s excitement and appreciation of this year’s maze theme.

“I thought it was very appropriate,” Wright said. “I mean, this is the most important election we’ve ever had because these are two very different choices in the direction of our country. So it’s great to tie in the fun aspect of Halloween to the more serious aspect of how critical this election is.”

The Girl Scouts of Utah were also in attendance, celebrating their 100th birthday with their own Grain Train Maze.

Cathleen Sparrow, CEO of Girl Scouts of Utah, brainstormed with her team for a way to showcase that Girl Scouts was turning 100, settling on the maze design with Cornbelly’s.

“They’ve been very generous, allowing us to tell the world about Girl Scouting,” Sparrow said, as she described the importance of Girl Scouts. “We start with leadership and we throw in a little bit of fun and we end up building girls that are courageous and confident and make the world a better place.”

Cornbelly’s opened Friday, Sept. 28, with the season ending Saturday, Nov. 3.

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