TEMECULA, CA — The annual Big Horse Corn Maze in Temecula is canceled this year due to a lack of enough corn growth, event organizers announced this week.
However, the organizers behind the maze said other activities at the venue will still happen, including the Harvest Festival—which features a pumpkin patch and other fall-themed activities and runs from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31.
The Big Horse Corn Maze, touted as the largest in Southern California, is grown annually on 11 acres of the Corona family’s property behind the Big Horse Feed and Mercantile store. For years, eager kids would grab tall flags and navigate through the intricate turns and twists of the elaborate maze.
Owner Maureen Corona tells Patch that every year, her family plots out the elaborate maze as the cornerstone of their fall festivities. The last year the event ran smoothly was 2019. Since the pandemic closures, little rain and extreme heat have rendered the corn too short to be maze-worthy.
A heat wave in early September brought extreme temperatures of over 105 degrees for two weeks across Temecula Valley, where the corn had been growing since summertime. The coming heat wave would further stunt any of the corn’s growth in time for the festival, the family decided, according to Corona.
Families can still expect bounce houses, the popular pumpkin patch, face painting, a pillow jump, and other typical fall fun this season, she said.
Fans expressed both disappointment and understanding about the cancellation on the Corn Mazes’s Facebook page.
One commenter noted “the cornfield appeared stunted” this week, which Big Horse Feed and Mercantile store manager Michelle confirmed.
“The corn’s only grown to our hips,” Michelle said. “Whatever sprouted will likely just go to feed the cows and other animals.”
Nearby Peltzer Pumpkin Farm in Temecula and Kenny’s Strawberry Farm in Fallbrook are also getting ready for fall festivals, however, neither mentioned a corn maze among their activities. Patch has reached out to the organizers of both events to confirm if they also had trouble growing corn this season.
“We had hoped to get the maze back for this year,” Corona said. “Between Covid and the weather, I guess we will have to wait another year.”
Follow Big Horse on Facebook, where more information will be released in advance of the opening day.