TO JILL SCHULZ, the youngest child of late “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz, it seems as if the Great Pumpkin has almost always been in her life.
Schulz, speaking by phone from Southern California, recalls trick-or-treating not long after the third “Peanuts” special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!,” debuted on network television 50 years ago next month.
Charlie Brown’s quote of Halloween dejection — “I got a rock” — would soon enter pop culture. And so young Jill Schulz and her family weighed whether it would be fittingly endearing to give out not only candy at Schulz Manor, but also a rock.
Jill Schulz, 58, who now works in the theme-park industry, is reliving such memories because Peanuts Worldwide is planning events tied to the Halloween special’s golden anniversary. And one such event will span much of North America.
In October, more than 90 farms coast to coast will feature “Peanuts”-themed corn mazes to mark the occasion. The mazes, created with the help of the Utah-based company the MAiZE, will be carved into farms that range from four to 40 acres.
And given the electoral season, it’s only apt that at least several of the mazes will feature political slogans, such as “Snoopy for Prez.”
These mazes, Jill Schulz says, will be joyful and visually stimulating, befitting the “Peanuts” comic strip, which launched in 1950. The farms will also screen the TV special and feature Great Pumpkin artwork.
To see whether a Great Pumpkin maze will crop up near you, check here.