Mixing technology with agriculture has resulted in a really big world record for the family behind the Lacombe Corn Maze.
The Kraay family’s seven-acre maze was recognized as the world’s largest QR code by Guinness. “We’re pretty excited,” said the business’s co-owner Rachel Kraay, who’s glad all the efforts paid off.
To attain the Guinness World Record designation, the Kraays had to prove the 310,000 square-foot maze that was designed to resemble a QR (quick response) code actually worked to channel smartphone users to the corn maze’s website.
But nothing happened the first time someone helicoptered over the maze and pointed a phone at it.
The Kraays then realized they had to Rototill the soil along the maze’s paths to make it darker. Nature also co-operated by providing “a dusting of rain” to further heightened the contrast between the cut paths and rows of corn, said Rachel.
The second helicopter trip was successful — but the family was still unsure their efforts would be officially recognized.
“We knew we had the evidence that we had the biggest one,” said Rachel “but Guinness had all these rules about how the evidence is submitted and documented.”
In the end, the Kraays did have the right number of “witnesses, and witnesses witnessing witnesses,” because the family received a package from Guinness containing an official record-holder certificate.
Rachel, who operates the maze with her husband and his parents, said setting the world record is a thrill — and has raised the Lacombe Corn Maze’s profile.
The family has been interviewed by national media including the Canadian Press, CBC and CTV. And a story about their record-setting maze has even run in a British newspaper.
“I think we’ve had more people come through from Edmonton and Calgary this year,” said Rachel, who believes visits are up — although a warmer than average August and early September probably helped too.
In the past, the Kraay family has commemorated rock stars and athletes with their maze patterns, and last year, they created a design to honour the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Tour.
The trouble will be coming up with a topper for next year.
“After 13 years, it might be hard to come up with something new,” admitted Rachel.
The family is inviting the public to suggest ideas.
Their website is www.kraayfamilyfarm.com.