A Rhode Island farmer is welcoming Taylor Swift to his seaside town in one of the most homegrown, personalized ways possible—by constructing an 8-acre corn maze in her honor.
The elaborate “Welcome Taylor” corn maze, equipped with a 220-foot guitar, was the brain child of Richard Manfredi, of Manfredi Farms in Westerly, R.I., where the seven-time Grammy winner recently bought a $17.75 million vacation home this past April.
“We just wanted her to fly over and smile when she went by, and let her know a bunch of country boys welcome her,” Manfredi, 64, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “We’re right in line with the Westerly airport, which she probably flies in and out of all the time. We see these massive private jets come in and I said, ‘One of these planes has got to belong to her.’
The corn maze, which took about a week to construct and costs $8 per person to venture through, wasn’t created for publicity, but rather, “to welcome her here in a simple way,” said Manfredi, whose farm also offers a petting zoo with 150 animals, hayrides and thousands of pumpkins.
Swift, 23, was unavailable for comment as she’s currently en route to South Africa, a trip that seemed to surprise Manfredi.
“South Africa, huh?,” he questioned. “That girl sure does keep busy.”
She certainly has been keeping herself busy, especially with the Oct. 12 grand opening of the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which features three classrooms, a learning lab and a state-of-the-art children’s exhibit gallery. Swift’s $4 million gift is the largest individual artist gift in the Hall of Fame’s history. The classrooms are adjacent to a visible design studio and feature thematic displays, dozens of instruments and allow students to observe museum curators at work.
On Oct. 13, Swift was also named Nashville Songwriters Association International’s 2013 Songwriter/Artist of the Year, the sixth time she has won the coveted award, surpassing five-time winners Vince Gill and Alan Jackson.