MOUNT VERNON — There wasn’t a tulip in sight Saturday morning — the bulbs aren’t even in the ground yet — but there was still a buzz of activity at Tulip Town.
On one part of the property, a family emerged from a corn maze, with one member crowing that it was the “hardest corn maze yet.” On another, a couple of families made their way down a row of pumpkins, looking for ones that would presumably make good jack-o’-lanterns.
While the previous night’s rain made it too muddy for the hayride and COVID-19 restrictions quashed the giant slingshot event, the day was still recognizable as part of an event Tulip Town launched last year: The Harvest.
The event, held each weekend in October, offers a host of activities, from the sale of pumpkins and other crops to a beer garden with an event-specific beer.
Andrew Miller, part of an ownership group that purchased Tulip Town in 2019, said The Harvest is part of an effort to extend Tulip Town’s offerings beyond the traditional fields of colorful flowers that bring in tourists each spring.
“We’re focused on connecting people to agriculture, because that’s our culture,” Miller said Saturday. “But it needs to be more than six weeks in the spring.”
Miller said the planting of the corn maze started within days after the sale.
“We bought the farm in June and the next day we were planting corn so we’d have a corn maze. It’s an effort to diversify a bit and it turns out we were on the right track,” he said.
Miller said the first weekend this year drew more people than in The Harvest’s inaugural year.
Visitors on Saturday could take their pictures in front of fall displays (“pumpkin spice everything,” one sign said), shop in the property’s barn and roam the 5-acre corn maze. All of them wore masks, and Miller wore a face shield.
He said tulip planting is due to begin soon, but in the meantime he is pleased to see people enjoying themselves.
“We want to honor the legacy but we’re not weighed down by ‘It’s always been done this way,’” he said.