Kackleberry kicks off season
By Bonnie Sargent
Every year for four years, Lisa and Mitch Vaughn have opened the Kackleberry Farm Corn Maze. It began in 2007 after the Vaughn children visited a corn maze in north Georgia and told their parents about it. The Vaughns then decided it would be a good idea to start one at their home, which is located just outside of Louisville.
What started primarily as an 8-acre maze has now expanded to include more than 50 additional attractions. New additions for this year include pony rides, gem mining, a pumpkin blaster and rooster rollers.
“We also have a new pavilion and concession stands,” said Mitch Vaughn.
This year is also the first year they will hold the Scarecrow Contest.
“Local businesses came and designed their own scarecrow to represent their business,” said Mitch Vaughn.
Prizes will be given for first, second and third place as well as a special farmer’s choice award, which will be voted on by employees at Kackleberry Farm.
“We’ve added a lot of education aspects this year,” said Lisa Vaughn. “We do a lot of field trips and stuff during the week.”
There are discounted field trip opportunities and on-site educational displays. Students will receive an agricultural passport that integrates education into the maze experience and will help guide them on the correct path through the maze using trivia questions and clues. Field trips can be scheduled by reservation. Teachers can access more information by visiting the Kackleberry Farm website.
This year’s maze is in the shape of a guitar; and, the theme this year is music. The maze is music-themed in honor of the Million Pennies for Kids Guitar Pull fundraiser. Million Pennies for Kids is an annual Christmas fundraiser held by United Way.
Last year’s Corn Maze drew thousands of visitors to Kackleberry Farm. Mitch Vaughn said this year they hope to have between 20,000 and 25,000 people.
The maze contains 85 decision points and nearly 3 miles of twists and turns. It is estimated to take about an hour to get through the maze for most people.
The corn is cut down at the end of every maze season and then is replanted in July in order to be ready for the grand opening in September.
The Corn Maze employs approximately 30 people, including teenagers. Adults oversee stations such as the ticket booth. Employees known as Corn Cops are stationed around the maze itself to supervise and make sure no one gets hurt.
The Corn Maze opens Saturday, Sept. 18, and will remain open until Sunday, Nov. 7. The maze is available to the public Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The cost to visit Kackleberry Farm is $11 for ages 3 and up. Children ages 2 and under get in free. Discounts are offered for families, groups and field trips.
Sponsors for Kackleberry Farm are OTIS Tree Services; Rollin’s Landscape; McCorkle Nurseries Inc.; State Farm Insurance; Jay’s Hardware; Avera Industrial Supply; Daniel’s Chevrolet; Walmart; Louisville Hardware; Cates Firestone; Queensborough National Bank & Trust; Abbot, Murphy and Harvey, P.C.; Davis-McGraw Furniture; Blanchard Equipment Co.; Augusta Family Magazine; WPEH 82.1; WQZY 95.9; The News and Farmer/Jefferson Reporter; MCG Health; SteviBs; Chick-fil-A; Phoenix Printing; Sunbelt Rentals; Kicks 99 Guitar Pull; WQXZ 98.3; NBC Augusta 26; the CW; WAFJ 88.3; Coca-Cola and The Augusta Chronicle.
For more information, directions or to make reservations, call 478-494-0185 or visit www.KackleberryFarm.com.
Wrens man killed in fire
By Carol McLeod
A man authorities have tentatively identified as Charles E. Barnes, 79, of Matthews died in a fire at his home shortly after midnight Saturday, Sept. 11.
A spokesman with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Monday Barnes suffered from several medical problems.
“He was supposed to be on oxygen at all times,” the spokesman said, adding Barnes was a chain smoker.
A neighbor who was also Barnes’ caregiver put him to bed at 7 p.m. and noticed the home on fire at midnight, the spokesman said.
Several fire departments responded and were told of the possibility of someone inside the home. The home was completely destroyed by the fire and the man’s remains were located about 1:45 a.m., the spokesman said.
“The body was burnt beyond recognition but is believed to be the only resident,” he said. “Neighbors tried to use a water hose to no avail.”
The body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for autopsy and identification, the spokesman said, adding there had been no word from the GBI as of Monday.
Barnes had two sons, both of whom live in California, the spokesman said.
“Preliminary investigation is ruled an accidental fire, unknown origin, no sign of foul play at this time,” he said.
Local band in song-writer finals
By Bonnie K. Sargent
Local teenage band Dem imonde recently made it to the finals of The Augusta Chronicle’s singer-songwriter competition. This is the band’s second year of entering the contest.
The deadline for entries was the beginning of July. Voting started on July 16 and the last chance to get votes in was Aug. 23 at 6 p.m.
Approximately 60 bands or individuals entered from all over the CSRA.
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“Most of the entries were in their 30s or older,” said María Cain, one of the members of Dem imonde. “We were one of like three teenage bands.”
The other members of Dem imonde are Lylliam Cain, Sabrina Littleton and Andrew Pascall.
The band found out they were finalists on Aug. 26 when they received a call from a contest representative.
“We want to thank all of our friends, supporters and the people who voted for us,” said María Cain. “And my dad, John Cain, who serves as our manager and publicist.”
Dem imonde will be playing at the 30th annual Arts in the Heart of Augusta festival on Saturday, Sept. 18. The time has not yet been announced.
The band’s main piece will be their song “Fight or Flight,” which is the song they entered in the contest. They will also be performing several songs from their new album.
“‘Fight or Flight’ which we entered in the competition, we selected in order to give listeners a defining sample of our upcoming album,” Lylliam Cain said. “We felt that this song, of all the album’s material thus far, was the best representation of our new sound as well as evidence of our growth throughout the past year.”
The band’s newest album will be released in mid- to late 2011. This will be the band’s third album.
“We definitely have a more fleshed-out sound,” said María Cain. “It’s turning more alternative rock rather than experimental.”
“It’s a little more structured now,” said Littleton. “We’ve added a member since our last albums.”
Pascall is the most recent member of Dem imonde. The band was started in 2007. Pascall joined the group in 2009.
“In fact,” Pascall said in an interview. “The Arts in the Heart will be my one-year ‘Demi-versary’.”
The band’s name, demimonde, is French for “half world.” María Cain said during the formation of the band they felt as if they did not fit in with any particular group.
“Thus we chose the name and added a space in between to further emphasize the sense of dislocation,” María Cain explained.
The band said everyone is encouraged to come out and support them at the Arts in the Hearts festival. More information can be found on www.chronicle.augusta.com. Dem imonde can also be located on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.