Good clean family entertainment is not as hard to find as you think. Like the other day when me and the family went to visit a farm over the state line. A local family farm opens up to the public to come in and get lost in a corn maze. To compliment the corn maze which takes about 15-20 minutes to navigate, they have a corn cannon, cow train, petting zoo, and a pig race.
The corn cannon is set up with a home made steel tube (gun barrel) hooked up on top of a 55 gallon drum that has compressed air underneath. The compressed air is hosed up so that with a push of a button, it shoots dried corn on the cob at cut-out wooden animal figures about 50 yards away. BOOM-SSHIISSS! The kids and I loved it.
The cow train is not what it sounds like. It is barrels that have been modified or cut in half, added a board seat inside, seat belt, and wheels on the outside. The barrel is then painted white with black spots to resemble a cow. Each barrel is connected to each other (hence the "cow train") and pulled by a fairly good size John Deere tractor (the "cow train engine"). The driver of the cow train ("cow conductor") seemed to be having as much or more fun than the kids riding. The driver appeared to be doing his dead level best to throw the kids from the cow train. He was turning the tractor so fast he was nearly on two wheels. The empty caboose cow car fish tailed as it came out of the tight turns. "Its just because there is not anybody riding in it" one of his fellow works said calmly. The driver would turn so tight it looked as if he was going to catch the cow caboose (looked like a dog chasing his tail). The whole cow train would be whipping around like a tornado. Then he would snap the steering wheel out if the spin and take off in a S turn. The kids survived and of course wanted to go again. They loved it.
The petting zoo was highlighted by the kids feeding the goat and the horse with the feed provided at $0.25 per hand full. The kids would giggle out loud when the animals would lick or nibble the palm of their hands. They loved it.
The pig race was marshaled by the cow conductor, "Ponytail Pete". This guy needs to start his own park. To me, this was the highlight of the trip. He called out to everybody that was around.
"It's tiiime fer the pig race! Anyboddy that didn't have bacon fer breekfas is wekcome to come watch. Those that had bacon need not come over. It'll spook the pigs. Come gatter roun and watch as Bar-B-Q, Bacon, and Pork Chop race roun the course for da Oreo cookie grand prize!"
I leaned over to my wife, if you see me running around that pin, just know I am doing it for the Oreo.
"We will have a second race wit Ham and Spam. For those of you that wur here last year and member Porky...he normly races wit Ham and Spam in heat two. But he pulled a hamstring yesterdee and is unable to race tday."
He did not skip a beat.
"Pigs are duh smartest animal on this farm. (not much of a stretch there, sorry Lord forgive me) We trained the pigs to run round dis pin in about 4 days. Plus theys the smallest animals we got and it only takes one Oreo per race, so theys thugh cheapest."
This guys was reeling in the crowd. Nearly everybody there that day was around the pig pin.
"Normly we have hank-er-chiefs for the pigs to wear, but they got dirty yesterdee when we had a pig pile up in turn three causin injury to Porky's hamstring like I told ya before" He pulled his hat off and wiped his forehead with a rag. "Squealin like you ain't never heard. The whole thing was a awful sight. It was awful, just awful. So since the hank-er-chiefs are being washed tday, the pigs will be a racin naked. Don't worry, nobody worry, their just baby pigs."
This guy is the Jay Leno of Lucedale.
He sets them up just like he said in two heats. The first heat was a slow walk around the pin for Bar-B-Q, Bacon, and Pork Chop. Not sure which one won - they were all naked so it was difficult to tell them apart. But they all got a piece of the Oreo cookie. Lapping it up while they looked at me with a smile. How did they know I loved Oreo's. Them pigs are smart!
Ham and Spam's race was a bit faster paced. It seemed they were in a bit more hurry to get back to their shaded pin. Ponytail Pete had informed us that pigs do not have sweat glands. So they need shade or mud or water to keep them cool. As promised, and apparently throwing caution to the wind (bless Porky's heart) all five baby pigs were set up and raced a final lap for another Oreo cookie. The last race was the fastest. Getting them all together seemed to jump start their competitive spirit. Of course from all the pointing and laughing, it could have been they wanted back in their dressing rooms... ;-)
"Thats all fer the first event folks. We'll have anutter race in bout 30 minutes. Anyboddy that wants Bar-B-Q, Bacon, Pork Chop, or Ham's autograph jus step over hear and we'll see which one is in da mood. Anybody wants a kiss from Spam will need to get in line over here, she is always in the mood for a kiss so no need to rush the line."
I found myself laughing out loud at this guy every time he spoke. We loved it.
Go checkout the website www.sewardfarms.com and watch their 2010 commercial for highlights of the corn maze, cow train, and pig race. The video is safe for work, the pigs have on their hank-er-chiefs. :)