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'It is that make or break time' | Triad fall festivities adjust to align with NCDHHS guidelines

Kersey Valley Attractions has made minor adjustments to its activities this year to follow NCDHHS guidelines and keep guests safe.

ARCHDALE, N.C. — The fall season can be make or break for some farms across the Piedmont Triad, but this year your favorite festivities are powering through. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released guidelines September 14 that places with fall-related events are required to follow. 

Owner of Kersey Valley Attractions Tony Wohlgemuth said their most popular attraction, Spooky Woods, is still on, with some adjustments. 

Wohlgemuth said typically, the attraction has objects hanging down that people can touch, but the owner removed them to avoid spreading germs. 

The train at Kersey Valley is also not running this year. 

However, attractions like the new 'Sunflower Extravaganza' and Maize Adventure are still opening

"The sunflower extravaganza, that’s the newest attraction. It’s inherently social distancing because it’s a reservation in advance and it’s very limited and it’s very small groups," he said. 

"Or it might be a professional photographer bringing in a client. So, we have acres and acres to spread out, you probably won’t even see anybody else," Wohlgemuth said. 

For the Maize Adventure, which opens September 19, a ticketing system will be used, to help with social distancing. 

"The normal crowd would come at once and now you have to pick a time slot and we can control the amount of tickets sold per time slot," he said. 

Wohlgemuth said they're putting the finishing touches on the maize now. 

Wohlgemuth said he's been working very hard to nail down this plan to keep his guests at Kersey Valley safe. 

"A lot of time has gone into it. This is not thrown together none of our attractions this is our livelihood and we take it very serious," he said.

Millstone Creek Orchard has also been making adjustments because of the pandemic. 

"I changed everything this year because of COVID and I’m really thankful we were proactive on certain things," owner of Millstone Creek Orchard Beverly Mooney said. 

Mooney said crowds at the orchard are a concern when fall rolls around.

"On a normal year we get crowds that’s our type of year but we knew this year had to look different," she said.

Mooney implemented a ticket system and adjusted capacity.

"We cut our capacity to 50 percent all based around that hayride, which is how we transport guests to and from our picking locations," she said. 

The NCDHHS guidelines don't allow hayrides for amusement purposes, but Mooney said the hayride at Millstone Creek Orchard is not for amusement purposes, and solely for transportation to and from the orchard. 

Mooney had to cancel her Halloween hayride she has every year in October because of the pandemic. 

But still, she's hopeful for a great season. 

"It is fall season and for so many of us, it is that make or break time," she said. 

"I’m very thankful from our end that at least we were proactive. So, I’m not making any changes based on the new guidelines because we were already there and that makes me a little proud," Mooney said. 

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