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Corn mazes are to fall as gloves filled with bullet ants are to the coming-of-age ritual of young men in the Satere-Maw tribe of the Amazon.

In other words, they’re a tradition. And our area is getting another one (a maze, that is) with the official beginning of fall right around the corner.

Le Craven Orchard, located near Mamers at 1000 Griffin Road in Lillington (a few miles from Raven Rock State Park), will celebrate the opening of its new corn maze and pumpkin patch this Friday and Saturday. The maze will be open through October. Le Craven was formed as a 6 acre Peach Orchard by Stephen Salmon in 2010. The name name is derived from the names of Stephen and former State Rep. Brad Salmon’s grandparents — Lenora Holder Morrison and Alex Craven Morrison Jr.

21557992_331768407288342_1884619701298551677_nThe farm currently grows peaches, melons, sweet corn and pumpkins. Earlier this year, while talking with family, Stephen — who returned to North Carolina in 2009 after graduating from Texas A&M University — decided to further develop Le Craven into a corn maze. “A corn maze is not a new idea but what we envisioned is simple, affordable, creative fun for a area that needs uplifting activities,” he said.

The new corn maze covers about seven acres and has ample open area for children and adults and play and walk around.

“Sure you can go on the hayride and pick a pumpkin that was grown on-site, but we encourage you to sit down and paint it,” Salmon said. “We want you to make the entire experience your own. If you want to bring a picnic basket and blanket to enjoy the fall splendor a little farther out in the country, then come join us.”

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According to its website, Le Craven will be open from 9 a.m. to dusk this Friday and Saturday during its grand opening. It will be open Fridays and Saturdays through October. Admission is $8 for ages 8-adult and $5 for children ages 3-7. Children under 3 are free.

The farm will accommodate large groups and organizations for special dates and times. For more information, call (919) 721-6881.

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