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Monday, October 1, 2012

Portlandia Corn Maze: Not Actually Very Portlandia-y!

Posted by Alison Hallett on Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Last week, I tweeted that I had mixed feelings about the Portland Corn Maze's Portlandia theme. (I like corn mazes! I do not like hearing Portlandia jokes retold four thousand times.) Live Wire! host Courtenay Hameister responded:

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Someone else suggested that such an atrocity should be "cleansed with fire." After actually visiting the Portlandia-themed corn maze, however, I'm happy to report that it's just a regular corn maze in the shape of a famous statue, with no additional Keep Portland Weird-ificiation.

The Portlandia maze is at the unoriginally named Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island, which also houses a "Haunted Maize" opening this weekend. The maze is in the shape of downtown's trident-wielding Portlandia statue, which is kind of cool; in a nod to the other Portlandia, there is a bird on it. That's pretty much where the Portlandia references start and stop. (If even that's too much for you, we passed an Oregon Ducks-themed maze on the way out.)

The maze is navigated with the help of a "passport," a 10-question quiz whose answers correspond to which direction you turn at premarked junctions. I picked "Portlandia" for my quiz's theme, and most of my questions were about Portland's landmarks: who designed the Portlandia statue, why does everyone hate the Portland Building, what's the name of the world's smallest park.

Other quiz themes included "Movies," "Scripture," and "Team-Building," the last of which seemed to promise fun group activities but in bizarre fact was actually lot of corporate speak and acronyms ("Together Everyone Achieves More!"). At first I thought these quizzes seemed like cheating, but it turns out the corn maze is still kinda hard—even with the help of our passports, we took a few wrong turns. (Seriously, why would anyone know how many times the word "corn" appears in the Bible?)

The maze costs $7 and probably took about an hour. Also on site: a barn full of bored-looking animals that you can't pet; snack stands with kettle corn, corn on the cob, and elephant ears; and free hay rides to the pumpkin patch. (There's also a pumpkin corral by the farm stand, but I already got the best pumpkin so I wouldn't bother with that if I were you). The farm stand sells apple cider. The apple cider comes from Hood River. In that detail, I guess it's not Portlandia enough.

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