Citing common themes, Glenn Fritzler said they decided to go with a giant figure of Peyton Manning for this year’s Fritzler Corn Maze.
The maze opens this Saturday and for the opening weekend, visitors are able to get in for half-price. This year the Fritzler’s are adding a new attraction. They have retrofitted four school buses with paintball guns so people can go zombie hunting with glow in the dark paintballs. Of course, the regular events such as the jumping pillow, haunted house and pedal go-karts are also back.
“We were originally going to go with a maze showing Tim Tebow handing a football to a cancer patient because he was such a compassionate person,” Fritzler said. “After the Broncos traded him we weren’t happy at first because he always beat the Broncos.”
However, the Fritzlers soon came to realize they shared several things in common with Manning.
“We share a history not just of adversity but also of determination and drive for something we love,” he explained. “Despite Manning never having missed a game, he was forced to sit the entire 2011 season because of neck surgery. While many might have given up, what did Manning do? He came back.”
Just like Manning, the Fritzler family, along with many other Weld County farmers has had their share of adversity over the years.
In 2010, the Fritzler’s son, Trevor, enlisted in the Army. However, Trevor was not able to finish his basic training and was discharged after suffering injuries involving nerve damage.
This year, following an historic drought, many farmers planted less acreage this year and in spite of that were still forced to abandon crops due to a lack of water.
Fritzler was no different and was forced to make choices and sacrifices including whether to choose having ideal yields of onions, grain, silage and sweet corn or put his efforts into the maze? “Faced with the decision to choose one over the other, I opted for the maze over higher yields” states Fritzler.
While the drought affected the entire nation, what made this year’s season particularly troubling for area farmers was it was as much man-made as it was natural.
While their crops were wasting away from a lack of water, underneath their feet was a rising tide of groundwater that was flooding their basements and causing leach fields to fail. However, the government would not allsw the m to use this water to save their crops.
A meeting this summer between Fritzler and other area farmers resulted in a stunning statement from John Stulp, the governor’s water advisor over the issue.
Fritzler said, I just don’t understand why we cannot see that a simple turning on of the wells would drop that water level, provide us with water for our crops and solve this problem.”
Stulp’s response stunned the farmers in the meeting. “There are ways you can de-water if it is causing you injury. You can run a well to de-water an area, but that water cannot be put to a beneficial use such as watering your crops. It would have to go back to the river, it could not go through your cornfield, but you could get relief by de-watering.”
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