Big celebrations are already underway for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ 75th anniversary MGM’s 1939 Technicolor classic has been converted by Warner Bros. into a remastered 3-D version screening at 300 IMAX theaters through Friday. But that’s just the tip of the ruby slipper for Warner’s $25 million anniversary campaign. Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion are already everywhere — in Happy Meals and back on the big screen — and in the coming months are set to appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and even Dylan’s Candy Bar. The classic also hits the small screen this week. The Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” hosts an Oz-themed challenge Saturday at 8 p.m., where contestants must bake sweets inspired by the beloved movie. And Thursday, QVC airs “The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Celebration” special, selling commemorative jewelry, toys and beauty products, such as the Julep four-piece nail polish collection with shades like “Ruby Slippers” red for $38.50, or Philosophy’s Emerald City/Yellow Brick Road shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath duo for $33.
‘Oz’ creator’s great-grandsons to attend OZtoberFest Roger and Robert Baum, the great-grandsons of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” creator L. Frank Baum, are coming to Wamego to take part in the city’s Ninth Annual OZtoberFest on Saturday and Sept. 29, according to Brooke Rindt, marketing and retail specialist for the Columbian Theatre and Oz Museum, both in Wamego. Roger Baum is the author of more than a dozen Oz books and will be signing copies of his children’s books. Robert Baum and his wife, Clare, will appear in a historical costumed act as L. Frank Baum and his wife, Maud, at the Oz Museum’s Little Theatre. In addition to the Baums, Oz novelist Paul Miles Schneider, of Lawrence, will be signing copies of his books. Johnpaul Cafiero, a Franciscan friar whose family owns the thousands of Oz artifacts exhibited at the Oz Museum, also will attend the festival. Judy Garland documentarian and Oz historian John Fricke will present private video footage of the Hollywood “Yellow Brick Carpet” premiere for Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful,” as well as preview his new book, “The Wonderful World of Oz,” and show a recent video interview with the late Munchkin actress Margaret Pellegrini. Also attending the festival is Myra Swensen, known as “the missing Munchkin,” Rindt said. Swensen was supposed to be in the “Wizard of Oz” movie, but she had to withdraw from the film to undergo surgery to remove her appendix. She later married Clarence Swensen, an actor who appeared as a Munchkin soldier in the movie.