plowBrittney Burns – Staff Writer

Horses and mules with wagons in tow plowed the fields at Deal Farms on Saturday for the annual Plow Days event. With bluegrass picking’ on the porch, and a pumpkin patch as far as the eye can see, families were treated to a good old fashioned day on the farm.

“There aren’t a lot of farms that still bring out the mule and horse teams to plow the fields so Plow Days is something we try to do twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall to keep that nostalgia alive,” said Joe Deal, owner of Deal Farms. “We want to make sure the community has the opportunity to experience that tradition.”

Mule and horse teams from Jackson, Macon, and Haywood counties were used to plow about an acre of the farm and other horses were on hand to provide traditional wagon rides around the property.

In addition to the annual Plow Days event, Deal Farms has partnered with Special plow2Olympics of Macon County and the Macon County Recreation Park to present a “Haunted Maize” and activities every Saturday night in October.

“The corn maze is something we have done before and when the Special Olympics approached us earlier this year with the idea of making it a fundraiser for them, we knew it was something we wanted to do,” said Deal. “Giving back to our community, especially to something like the Special Olympics is something that means a lot to us.”

Macon County’s Special Olympics serves about 90 athletes and provides opportunity for all of them to participate in area competitions. Fundraising is crucial, as all of the athletes’ expenses from travel to uniforms to food to equipment is covered by Special Olympics.

wagon-ride“We are excited to be partnering with Deal Farms this year and are looking forward to this year’s fundraiser and hopefully building the event into something that continues to grow and not only raises money for the Special Olympics, but something that can provide a Halloween experience for all of Western North Carolina,” said Jennifer Garrett, coordinator for Special Olympics of Macon County.

Each Saturday night leading up to Oct. 29, Deal Farms transforms into a haunted playground with spooks and scares for the brave, along with more family-friendly activities appropriate for all ages.

For those looking to lose a little sleep at night, Deal Farms offers a mile-long Haunted Maize with creeps and squeals around every darkened corner. With live actors scattered throughout, each night the maze has a different scare patiently waiting.14485145_197065947393695_326076125007622503_n

Deal Farms also features a 10,000 square foot family-friendly maze cut out in the shape of Outdoor Magazine’s Top Town logo in recognition of Franklin’s designation as the magazine’s 2015 Top Small Outdoor Town.

“Franklin has so much to offer outdoors and as soon as I heard of Franklin winning Outdoor Magazine’s contest, I knew it was something I wanted to incorporate in this year’s maze,” said Deal. “Being recognized as the top outdoor town in the Blue Ridge Mountains is something we should be proud of and work to promote all throughout the year.”

14519793_197066217393668_7056801370550832088_nMacon County Recreation park got on board to help with the fall fun and provides a family-friendly hayride around the property.

Admission to the attractions are $5 each or $12 for all three. A portion of the proceeds from each Saturday night in October will be donated to the Macon County Special Olympics. Deal Farms has the regular corn maze open every day beginning at 9 a.m. and the haunted fun starts every Saturday at 7 p.m. Deal Farms is located at 4402 Murphy Road, Franklin.