Oz in the News 3.29.11

Madison County prepares for Oz-Stravaganza The theme of the 33rd annual event is “Celebrating Dorothy,” in tribute to Baum’s heroine.  The weekend will feature the winners of the first-ever Miss Oz-Stravaganza pageant, set for May 14.  The pageant is open to contestants ages 2 to 19 residing in the Chittenango Central School District. Winners will serve as ambassadors of the community and the Oz-Stravaganza festival, riding with the grand marshal in the annual parade, participating in the Emerald City Idol and costume contests and kicking off the annual Munchkin Mile Fun Run.

“Miss Oz-Stravaganza! Pageant” represents Chittenango community “Oz-Stravaganza is really about Chittenango and the birthplace of L. Frank Baum,” Walter said. “We felt that it was really important that the winners of Miss Oz-Stravaganza be residents of Chittenango because they’re representing their community. How can somebody that’s not from our area represent the community?”  While typical pageant rules will cover the competition, Walter said the extremism that’s captured in the show “Toddlers & Tiaras” won’t be present. She hopes to overcome the stereotypes attached to pageants because of shows like that.  “We’re not looking for people to dress their 3 and 4-year-olds like 25-year-olds,” she said. “It’s about being community ambassadors. It’s about representing themselves. While, of course, yes, there’s a beauty element, there’s confidence, there’s charisma, there’s community spirit.”

Wizard of Oz Tea Party and vintage fashion show at the historic Vaile Mansion Sitting amongst small tables and chairs, eating tea-sized treats, dozens of people enjoyed a hint of Wizard of Oz in the rooms of the historic Vaile Mansion. This is the first year for the Wizard of Oz Tea Party and vintage fashion show, organized by volunteers and staff at the mansion in Independence Saturday. Limited to 75 people, guests had the opportunity to listen to harp music as they enjoyed a lunch of traditional tea party treats and desserts. Mingling with the guests were Dorothy, Toto, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda the Good Witch. Those in attendance were encouraged to dress up as characters from the iconic movie or in vintage costumes. At the end of the event, which served to educate the public about the Vaile Mansion, guests were treated to a fashion show of vintage clothing and accessories.

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