published Monday, September 19th, 2011

Off the Couch: Fairs, festivals and corn mazes highlight the week

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, we are eat up these days with fairs, festivals and corn mazes. Our own Hamilton County Fair is this weekend, which means I’ll have that Dalton Roberts theme song in my head for two weeks. “Come on, come on, come on ...”

Several corn mazes opened or will open this week, too. It’s that time of the year for getting outside and celebrating the agrarian lifestyle, I reckon.

LISA DENTON: I celebrate the agrarian lifestyle on my little patch of green acres every time I climb the pole to answer the phone. I believe you know I was raised so far out in the country the ZIP code was E-I-E-I-O.

Which reminds me: One of the new attractions this year is Old McDonald’s Farm. And on that farm they have a pumpkin patch, E-I-E-I-O. Hmmm, I’m known for my little ditties, but I think that one may need some work.

Old McDonald’s Farm won’t have a corn maze, but there will be a hay maze, straw castle, critter barn and hay rides. It will be open Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 5-6 at McDonald Farm in Sale Creek.

You can find corn mazes all around the region. The River Maze in Ocoee, Tenn., is open, and starting this weekend you can visit Rock City’s Enchanted Maize in Flintstone, Ga., Mayfield Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Athens, Tenn., and Autumn Acres in Crossville. And there are more to come.

I may stick with the hay mazes, though. I can tell you from personal experience that being in the middle of a corn field is kind of creepy. And don’t even think about telling a secret, because the corn is all ears.

BARRY: Oh my. That one took my breath away it’s so bad. Speaking of ears, though, you’re up to yours in corn(pone) it app-ears. I suppose it was too ear-ristible for you to pass up.

LISA: Aw, shucks.

BARRY: Anyway, don’t forget also that the new Chattanooga Symphony & Opera season kicks off Saturday, and for the first time in many years, Maestro Bob Bernhardt will not be on the baton. Kayoko Dan is the new conductor, and this will be her first opening night with the CSO. They’ll be doing a piece by Tchaikovsky, another by Dvorak and one by Rimsky-Korsakov. You might have heard these on the wireless at your place.

LISA: We mostly listen to George, George and Merle up my way, but I still appreciate the works of Pete, Tony and Nick (Pyotr, Antonin and Nikolai, if we’re being formal). Just because I’m from the country doesn’t mean I’m lacking in couth, my good man.

This is an exciting next step for the CSO. Dan is only the eighth conductor in the orchestra’s 78-year history. With Bernhardt staying on as music director emeritus, it’s nice that we can be Dan Fans and still be part of the Bob Mob.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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