"There is a special relief fund for the city of Joplin and we will be contributing a portion of the proceeds from this year's event," said David Doner, founder and program director of GRIP Boys Home, which sponsors the annual attraction. "We want to commemorate the losses suffered by both neighboring cities."
Doner said the clients at GRIP Boys Home, in Verona, weighed in on the choices for this year's trail, and the overwhelming consensus was the tribute to the two cities.
The field pattern will reflect storm clouds and a lightning bolt, the names of both Joplin and Branson, and the slogan "standing strong."
"The corn is about ready to go into the ground," Doner said. "When its closer to the opening of the season, the pattern will be cut into the field."
This year, the Verona Corn MAiZE will open on Sept. 22 and close on Nov. 3.
The special attractions include the Field of Screams, starting at dark on Friday, Sept. 28 and continuing until Nov. 3. The Field of Screams will continue every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday until the end of the season.
The Haunted Trail Ride along the Bloody River Trail will bring the legend of Sasquatch to life.
Courtyard attractions include boxer jocks, a hillbilly shootin' range, pumpkin chuckin', a corn cannon, a cow train, and the Lil Kernal's Corner, featuring a corn box, bouncer toys and a petting zoo for youngsters.
Movie nights will take place each Friday and Saturday night in the courtyard, and hayrides will be offered for a fee.
Guests can also reserve campfire sites to roast hot dogs, marshmallows and tell chilling ghost tales at a rate of $10 per hour.
Concessions will be available nightly, and the Feed Wagon will offer BBQ, chili, nachos, caramel apples and other seasonal treats on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Country Store will offer souvenir memorabilia, snacks and scout patches.
Hours of operation will be 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Field trips are offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only.
Cost of admission is $8 for individuals 12 years and older; $4 for children 5 to 11; and free for children 4 years of age and under. Veterans and military personnel with identification are admitted free of charge. Special group rates are also offered.
For more information on The MAiZE, call 498-6191 or visit their website at www.thamaize.com.