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Every season offers up some kind of country fair that promises to make me gain weight while simultaneously upsetting my allergies. And yet, wherever I travel, I am drawn to these country carnivals, fairs, and hayrides like a moth to a flame.

In September, my family and I went to the 100th Goshen Fair, in Connecticut, because who doesn’t love watching a skillet toss contest, a Monster Truck Show, hay bale tossing, and an adult spelling bee all rolled into one?  Add a pie eating contest, a hypnotist, a police dog demo, carnival games and rides, and several barns filled with sheep, pigs, bunnies, goats and hens, and you’ve got a serious party.

Tissues in hand to wipe my eyes from the dander, wool, fluff, fuzz, dust, hay and down, I entered the chicken coop with my children.  “Eww,” Zoe said of the smell.  I agreed.  It was fowl.

“But look, Zo,” I said, pointing to the most beautiful example of chickendom I have ever seen.  Black and sleek with shiny feathers and a cocky attitude, this animal was downright gorgeous.  We moved from the admiration of hens to the cooing over bunnies and then made our way back down the midway.

After spending about 30 dollars on rides for the kids and snacks for Mommy – including a caramel apple because I love them even though I am allergic to apples – it was time to dust off and go home.

Which brings me to last weekend’s excursion to Confreda’s Farm in Cranston, RI. This “fahm,” to use the local vernacular, is the home of Fall Fest, which boasts a corn maze, called The Maize, and an event called Scary Acres RI, a nighttime haunted corn maze and hayride, destined to freak you out completely.

We went during the day.

As explained on the farm’s website, “The first of the increasingly-popular ‘MAiZE craze’ to reach Cranston, the 10-foot-high labyrinth is designed in the shape of Rhode Island, with graphics celebrating our 90th anniversary. Carved into a cornfield the size of 6 football fields, the MAiZE is much more than a corn maze, it’s an interactive attraction with learning activities for kids, challenges for adults, and FUN for all ages! You don’t just tour the MAiZE…you experience it.”

To reach the maize maze, we embarked on a tractor-pulled hayride through several fields and tried to stay warm. In order to achieve inner warmth, I planned to myself with hot cider and funnel cake and a caramel apple upon returning to the “fahm.”

If anyone’s looking for a niche business opportunity, educational corn mazes are the next hot venture. I’m telling you: you heard it here first. Continue reading here.