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Fall festivals return amid pandemic

Published: Sep. 20, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Folks in Virginia’s Blue Ridge are gearing up for fall and that means the return of annual festivals. But this year, things look a little different. WDBJ7 took a ride out to Layman Family Farms to see how they are keeping this annual tradition alive.

The Owner of Layman Family Farms, Eric Layman, said he had to make several changes due to the pandemic, including his corn maze, which went from four feet wide to six feet wide to help with social distancing.

“We weren’t positive we were going to open until about three weeks ago, so it’s been push and shove,” Layman said.

He, found a way to keep his Layman Family Farms Fall Festival running for the 16th year.

“We talked with the Sheriff and Health Department and tried to figure out what we needed to do to make it safe for everybody to be at the farm,” Layman said.

Along with creating a wider corn maze, Layman had to make several other changes, like not running certain kids' activities and adding 30 acres to the farm so people could spread out even more.

“It’s been a challenge, but it’s so good to see happy and smiling faces,” he said.

Like Michele Twyman and her son Edwin, who traveled from Lynchburg.

“With all the coronavirus and everything you just get tired of it, and with the cool day, I just felt like this is the introduction to fall and I’m so ready for the fall,” Michele said.

The Twymans say they felt very comfortable enjoying a day at the farm during a pandemic.

“I’m definitely six feet away from people!”Michele said.

“From what I’ve heard, we’ve been doing a really good job with it, there’s been a lot of positive positive comments about it, how we’re cleaning frequently," Garrett Layman, Eric Layman’s son and the Supervisor of Layman Family Farms said.

And the pandemic still isn’t holding many people back--the owner says he had to even turn some people away Saturday to stay under their one thousand-person limit.

“It’s a special time of year, I mean you’re outside, and it’s just great weather," Eric Layman said

The main pumpkin patch at the farm will be open next week. You can go on the weekends in September and Wednesdays, Fridays and the weekends in October. For more information on admission prices, click here.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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