PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — Mazes have been carved into fields of corn at Escobar Farm in Portsmouth since 2000.
There have been many themes to the mazes, but this year’s theme is dedicated to the long-time owner of the farm, Louis Escobar.
“Everyone knew him as Mr. Fourth of July,” said Jane Escobar, wife of “Louie.”
Louie was a fixture in Portsmouth.
“He dressed up like Uncle Sam. We had fireworks here at the farm, and it was Portsmouth’s fireworks show,” Jane added.
A serious fall from a tractor in 2015 left him a functioning quadriplegic, but he still roamed the farm in his wheelchair.
Louie passed away last October at the age of 84. Born just days after the Hurricane of 1938 hit Rhode Island, he was a dairy farmer on the farm owned by his family for more than 80 years.
“That’s all he wanted to do. He absolutely loved working with the cows,” Jane said.
The couple tied the knot in 1986. While laughing, Jane said Louie’s brother told them, “We looked across the back of a cow and fell in love.”
Jane said after milk prices dropped in 1999, Louie decided to build a corn maze in 2000 to make ends meet.
There were many themes to the corn mazes including a salute to first responders, the military, and farmers, but this year’s theme is a little more special.
“It’s him in profile with his Uncle Sam hat, and he just looks so cool. Just so himself,” Jane said.
Jane said his niece, who took the picture, said that should be the maze next year — Louie previously said that the picture would be the maze the year after he died.
“That’s our maze this year,” Jane said. “In his memory, and hoping everyone enjoys it.”
Like in past years, the maze is sprawled across eight to eight-and-a-half acres on a hill on the farm.
12 News Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo asked Jane what Louie would say when looking down on the maze.
“I think he’d be pretty proud,” she said. “I’ve cried every time I’ve looked at the map [of the maze] because it’s him totally. It’s the epitome of him.”
Escobar Farm will be open through the weekend, closing at 3 p.m. Sunday — and the weather looks nice.