Wizard of Oz Festival flys into town For the third year downtown Ionia will be transformed into the Land of Oz for the annual Wizard of Oz Festival. The festival runs Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 with a kickoff party Thursday night at the Commission on Aging. This year the festival is adding several new characters to their already expanded list. Joining Dorothy and crew will be Auntie Em, a couple flying monkeys and a winkie, which is a guard at the witch’s castle. Organizer and Ionia Downtown Development Authority Linda Curtis talked about her favorite part of the festival. An Oz artist will be on hand Friday and Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Ionia Theatre for a colored pencil drawing class. Vincent Myrand is an illustrator who has drawn different books, has been commissioned by Disney and his speciality is Wizard of Oz. That class is $20. He will also be doing Wizard of Oz character caricatures after his class near the theatre.