Category Archives: Oz Events

Oz in the News 8.6.20

To Oz? Yes! To Oz! Enjoy our virtual event created for—and by—fans of Oz. Here, the original children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and the classic 1939 MGM film of the beloved story introduce you to a wider world of Oz. Join to click into our tours, talks, demos, performances, and interviews. Explore Oz parks, museums, and your own creative side in hands-on Oz projects. Talk about it all! And come back all weekend as new content is released.

Your Town Chittenango: Oz-Stravaganza cancelled, but not the village magic “I think it puts us on the map,” said Collen Zimmer, Director of the Oz-Stravaganza Festival. The three-day festival, which normally draws around 30 thousand people to Chittenango over the summer, had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also meant the Oz Museum hasn’t had a visitor since March – they’re now taking the time to do renovations, and are hoping to make a comeback in the future. “Oz is alive and well everywhere,” said Zimmer. They’ve been using pop-up sales of things like Oz merchandise and masks to bring in some revenue and keep the magic alive. According to Zimmer, they’ve made sales all over the globe. Zimmer has been volunteering for the Oz Museum for 35 years. She said her primary reason for joining was because she saw how important Oz was to the people of the village of Chittenango.

Oz in the News 7.13.20

OZ.ORG Will Premiere Online as Part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival Logins and cyphers and software, oh my! Kansas-raised Dorothee is unexplainably sent a package containing a laptop and a cryptic note signed “LFB”. When she unlocks the computer, she is suddenly transported into Can you help Dorothee reach the Wizard, save Oz, and find her way home? OZ.ORG is an interactive, virtual play based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as well as MGM’s 1939 Technicolor Oscar-winning film “The Wizard of Oz”. Kusching’s play is a dystopian, futuristic, and technological spin on the beloved children’s classic. OZ.ORG will be performed live and include the opportunity for audience engagement. Each show has a limited number of participants, and audience members will have the chance to actually partake in the adventure. The audience will interact with the cast through the live chat and can turn on their webcams to join the show. There will even be the chance for a solo-audience experience with the Wizard of Oz himself.

Oz in the News 7.3.20

Eva Noblezada, Nathan Lee Graham, George Salazar, More Set for Night of a Thousand Judys Virtual Concert The eighth annual Night of A Thousand Judys, a Pride concert benefiting The Ali Forney Center, will take place as a streaming online event July 14 at 8 PM. Written and hosted by Justin Sayre, the evening will include Tony winner Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), MAC winner Natalie Douglas, Tony nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown), Nathan Lee Graham (Zoolander), Tony nominee Adam Pascal (Rent), Tony nominee Beth Malone (Fun Home), Tony winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), George Salazar (Be More Chill), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), T. Oliver Reid (Hadestown), Jessica Vosk (Wicked), Spencer Day, and Bright Light Bright Light.The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest agency dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ homeless youth. Watch the concert and donate to the cause at

Dorothy Blazes New Trails In Grand Rapids MN Hometown Of Judy Garland This summer follow along with Visit Grand Rapids new campaign, Dorothy Blazes New Trails. While we know there is “no place like home”, we also know that people are feeling cooped up at home and want to get out to explore and seek safe places to find new adventure. This campaign will feature Dorothy (played by actress, Chelsey Johnson) and her black lab side kick, Tioga exploring Grand Rapids, MN – the home of Judy Garland (aka Frances Ethel Gumm). Each week the campaign will highlight safe and fun places to seek outdoor adventure, places to shop, places to dine, and places to stay. Follow along with the Dorothy Blazes New Trails each week on Visit Grand Rapids social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Visit Grand Rapids will do weekly featuring images of Dorothy, her trusty side kick, Tioga will be featured at iconic outdoor locations in the Grand Rapids. Dorothy will be joined by her Wizard of Oz Friends (tin man, scarecrow and the cowardly lion) in the coming weeks. The friends (real-life people that represent these Wizard of Oz characters) will head out on adventure together, while enjoying safe social distancing. In July Visit Grand Rapids will partner with area businesses and launch a Dorothy Blazes New Trails Contest where daily clues will be given and daily prizes will be awarded. There will be a designated Contest page on where people will be sent for photo clues of Dorothy and her friends at different outdoor locations, area attractions, businesses and places to eat & drink. Each day people will be asked to comment on Facebook and Instagram of the clues location and then at the end of the day Visit Grand Rapids staff will randomly draw a winner from those people whose comment was correct.

Talents of local voice actor recognized Georgia Craven recently received a Best Leading Actress nomination for The Audio Theatre Central Seneca Awards for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Craven is a Grade 12 student at Chatham-Kent Secondary School and has extensive experience in stage performing. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, however, marks Craven’s first lead part in an audio theatre production. In addition to the dialogue she had to read, Craven also had to perform two original songs as part of the production. The production was put on by Chatham’s Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre, which adapts popular literature works into full-cast audio productions using only voice actors and sound effects. Voices of the Wind Audio Theatre also received a nomination for Best Cover Art for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The winners will be announced in a live-stream broadcast on July 24 at 10 p.m. Snippets of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are available on the Voices of the Wind Audio Theatre website and the complete 90-minute production is available for purchase on



Oz in the News 6.14.20

‘Oz’ book is back Crews re-installed the large floral sculpture of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in Centennial Park on Friday, June 12. The living sculpture recreates the original cover of the classic novel with thousands of plantings. The sculpture made its debut in the park last June but was removed and stored in the city greenhouse for the winter. Paired with a yellow brick road and the Oz sculpture exhibit across the street at Herrick District Library, the exhibits make up the Holland Oz Project, a collaboration between the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the library, Holland in Bloom and the city of Holland. A statue of the Wicked Witch of the West also joined the cast of characters from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in the exhibit outside the library on Friday. The witch was installed alongside the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, Toto, a Munchkin, a Flying Monkey and a Fighting Tree. All of the bronze character statues were made by Brodin Studios and transported from Kimball, Minnesota to Holland to be installed.

Oz in the News 6.13.20

Brookfield launches townwide read online Residents will be traveling down the virtual yellow brick road as the library moves its third annual One Town, One Read online. The townwide read is meant to strengthen community spirit with everyone reading the same book and then participating in different activities together. This year’s book is “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. “The objective of the One Town, One Read program is always to spark enthusiasm for reading together, as a community, and to inspire thoughtful discussion,” Library Director Yvonne Cech said. Activities will run throughout June and July. They include teen writing sessions, children’s crafts, learning to use movie making apps, coding, book discussions and a townwide scavenger hunt that encourages people to visit local businesses. Guest readers will read selections from the book on Mondays and offer scavenger hunt clues to find the seven characters hidden around Brookfield. A map, more details and a full list of events is available on the library’s website and social media accounts. The activities culminate with a livestream presentation on July 23 of “The Saga of the Ruby Slippers.” It will be presented by Ryan Lintelman, the curator of the entertainment collection at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, where the ruby slippers from the movie are housed.

Oz in the News 6.2.20

Floral book sculpture to return in June with new statue  The centerpiece of the Holland Oz Project will return this month. The 10- by 12-foot floral book sculpture bearing the cover of the original “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum will be installed on Friday, June 12, along the yellow brick road in Centennial Park. The project was the brainchild of Allison Jesky, Hope College horticulturist, who first saw mosaic sculptures in 2018 while accepting an award for Holland in Bloom in Canada. Her idea, paired with Holland’s unique to the author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” bore the Holland Oz Project. Local lore rumors the book was penned in part while Baum vacationed at his cottage in neighboring Macatawa. Character statues have been installed on Herrick District Library property and linked to the flower sculpture with a yellow brick road, including the Scarecrow, a Munchkin, the Tin Man, Dorothy, Toto, a Fighting Tree, a Flying Monkey and the Cowardly Lion. The Wicked Witch will join the cast when the sculpture is reinstalled for the season. Also returning is the brick campaign. Fans of the exhibit will be able to purchase a personalized brick that will be placed along the yellow brick road. To purchase a personalized brick along the yellow brick road, or for more information, visit

Oz in the News 5.29.20

Doom Patrol’s Wizard of Oz-Themed Season 2 Poster Reveals Dorothy DC Universe on Thursday unveiled a Season 2 poster for Doom Patrol (seen in full below), and it is fittingly Wizard of Oz-themed seeing as a Dorothy — as in Niles Caulder aka The Chief’s daughter — is front and center. Premiering Thursday, June 25 on DC Universe (and simultaneously released to HBO Max), Season 2 of the live-action DC series has “the strangest group of heroes” — Cliff Steele aka Robotman (voiced/sometimes played by Brendan Fraser), Larry Trainor aka Negative Man (voiced/sometimes played by Matt Bomer), Rita Farr aka Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby), Jane aka Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), and Victor Stone aka Cyborg (Joivan Wade) — back to once again save the world. If, that is, they can find a way to grow up… both figuratively and literally.

Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival to be ‘a virtual experience’ June 12-13 As Dorothy Gale discovers when she leaves Kansas and sets off to find the Wizard of Oz, extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. So it is this year, when the seventh annual Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival goes virtual, in light of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. The order was recently extended through June 12 and the festival is set for June 12-13. The Ionia Downtown Development Authority, which hosts the event, is following the governor’s guidelines “as directed,” and that’s the reason the festival will transition from an in-person event to “a virtual experience,” according to Ionia DDA Director Linda Curtis. There will still be plenty to do and see online, starting with celebrity guests telling stories from their recently published books on Facebook Live. Festival favorite Mary Ellen St. Aubin, whose late husband Parnell St. Aubin was one of the original Munchkin soldiers in the 1939 MGM classic “The Wizard of Oz,” may even make an appearance. “I spoke with Mary Ellen today. We hope to have a video from her home,” Curtis said. “That will be absolutely priceless. She is turning 100 this year.” Official characters and friends of the festival also will make guest appearances on Facebook Live — and possibly elsewhere.

Oz in the News 5.28.20

Oz Days set to follow the yellow brick road back to Chesterton Originally set for May, the festival has been rescheduled for July 11-12 because of COVID-19 concerns. The venue will remain the same, with the event held in and around the Duneland Falls Banquet and Event Center, 1100 N. Max Mochal Hwy. Missouri-based organizer Jackson Bishop, who has organized the Missouri Wizard of Oz Festival for five years, is overseeing the Chesterton festival. “It will be a reunion of sorts of past attendees, sharing lots of memories from past festivals,” Bishop said. Many of the same activities featured in past festivals will be on the schedule.” Though the schedule is being finalized, the festival will include vendors, artists, authors, crafts, activities and food. The festival’s Facebook page also touts costume contests for children and adults, including a virtual category for those unable to attend the 2020 event. The festival also will feature Mary Ellen St. Aubin, the first lady of the Wizard of Oz Days and of past festivals, Bishop said. “Mary Ellen was married to Pernell St. Aubin, who portrayed the smallest Munchkin soldier in the original 1939 movie,” he said.

Oz in the News 5.25.20

Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival shifts to virtual event for 2020 The annual Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival will transition from an in-person event to a virtual one in 2020, according to the Ionia Downtown Development Authority. The virtual celebration with Facebook live videos, including celebrity guests and official characters, is scheduled for June 12-13. Plans to provide online contests, activities, storytelling and more will be featured on the official Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival Facebook page. “The health and safety of our patrons, vendors, celebrity guests, volunteers, and official characters is of utmost importance to the Festival Committee and guided the decision to change from the previous format,” the Ionia DDA stated. The Ionia DDA states to follow the festival page for upcoming announcements and schedule updates. It is also working with downtown merchants to host decorating contests and activities for the festival. “We express our sincere appreciation to sponsors, donors and all that worked so hard to make this Festival a tradition,” said the DDA. “We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.”

Oz in the News 5.21.20

‘Oz’ theme park? Toxic dump? KCQ finds fireworks in history of Sunflower ammo plant Back in 1942, the federal government uprooted 150 farms in northwest Johnson County as well as the entire town of Prairie Center so it could build an ammunition plant. (In 1998) the big headline was when the area nearly became home to the world-famous Wonderful World of Oz theme park and resort. The developers, headed by Los Angeles lawyer Robert Kory, knew that the project would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and that much of that money would go to cleaning up the toxic site. But they were unfazed. The Oz idea faced local opposition from Taxpayers Opposed to Oz, or TOTO, and The Wall Street Journal wasn’t much impressed either. It ran a story in May 2001 that carried a De Soto dateline and began: “If a California developer has its way, Dorothy and Toto will once again be off to see the wizard — only this time the yellow brick road will be laid over a toxic-cleanup site that is now so poisonous, cattle aren’t allowed to graze in certain places there.” As the estimated cost of the project rose to more than $860 million, doubts about Kory’s financing also grew. In late 2001, Johnson County commissioners killed the Oz idea.

Cheltenham tea room launches Wizard of Oz afternoon tea As Dorothy says ‘there’s no place like home’ and a Cheltenham tea room has created a special Wizard of Oz themed afternoon tea that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home, during lockdown. Complete with ruby slipper biscuits and yellow brick rocky road, Once Upon A Tea Room in Cheltenham has created the limited edition Wizard of Oz themed afternoon tea for delivery or collection on just two dates – Friday 29 and Saturday 30 May 2020. The Over The Rainbow Tea also includes finger sandwiches, scones, vanilla rainbow cake and even an emerald macaroon, plus a choice of hot or cold drinks. Costing £22.95 for one or £56 for a family, the special afternoon tea is available for collection or delivery within 10 miles of the tea room on Winchcombe Street in Cheltenham town centre. For more information, call Once Upon A Tea Room on (01242) 577929.