By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Halloween tradition of Millington and the Mid-South is a labor of love.
Jones Orchard sales manager Henry Jones said the corn and haunted mazes begin to come to life back in November 2019.
The almost year of planning, mowing, cutting, building and organizing debuted at 6880 Singleton Parkway last Friday night.
Before the coronavirus, the haunted mazes at Jones Orchard featured Shadowlands, Hysteria Haunted Hayride and the regular Corn Maze. But things have been modified with limited attractions and safety measures for all visitors.
One of Jones Orchard’s biggest draws during the year is the haunted mazes. The business is currently operating the maze for the 15th straight year.
Jones Orchard is also celebrating another milestone with 80 years of in business. Opening in 1940, Jones Orchard has built a reputation across the Mid-South for fresh fruit such as strawberries, tomatoes and peaches.
With the coronavirus placing some restrictions on activities, Jones Orchard will showcase two haunted mazes this year with the help of the Kilgore Crew doing props for “Hysteria.” To help enforce social distancing, there will not be a hayride this year. But the hayride will be transformed into a part of “Shadowlands.”
The opening weekend was Oct. 2-3. Now for the next three weeks in October, the Haunted Maze will be opened Friday through Sunday with times on Sunday from 7 to 10 p.m. Then the weekend of Halloween, the maze will be open Friday and Saturday.
“We have a responsibility to help people enjoy the holiday,” Jones said. “We look forward to it every year, too. We like showing some type of leadership and guidance for the communities.”
Jones Orchard began the haunted maze in 2005 with features like Shadowlands, the Hysteria Haunted Hayride, regular corn maze, Zombie Paintball as attractions through the years.
“The planning starts in the winter,” Jones noted. “We get a theme, and a company called Maze Play designs it and applies it. They cut the maze using a GPS. They cut the corn maze and haunted maze.”
The maze is formed on 10 acres of land with the haunted portion taking up half. The path is 5 feet wide, taking up several miles.
Just a few feet down the road during the day, the Jones Orchard Singleton Parkway location is selling pumpkins for carving, decorations or recipes.
The month of October is one of the busiest times for the longtime Millington business.
“We do a lot of work building it throughout the year,” Jones concluded. “We start in November of last year on the buildings. We like giving people something to do that is fun, safe and worthwhile. It’s good to get outside and enjoy this weather. And we just enjoy it too.”
For more information, call (901) 873-3150.