Category Archives: Oz Events

Oz in the News 10.17.17

Giant Wizard Of Oz ruby slippers centrepiece for Porthleven School firework fun day Inside a barn, somewhere in Cornwall (or possibly Kansas), something very strange and wonderful is taking place. A fresh lick of ruby red paint is being liberally applied to a pair of giant 7ft tall slippers. The giant (and possibly magical) shoes will form the centrepiece of a Wizard of Oz themed firework display and family fun day in Porthleven next weekend. It will be held with the grounds of Porthleven School and also raises money for the village primary school. The tornado-like force behind the event is local mum Leigh Yates, here in the guise of the Wicked Witch, and follows on from past events at the school which have included a medieval and Harry Potter days. Leigh said: “We’ll be showing the film on a giant cinema screen and we will have all the characters and quite a few show-stoppers. It’s going to be a really great evening.”

Hotel del Coronado: San Diego’s luxury landmark for 129 years Since its opening in February 1888, Hotel del Coronado has been a San Diego landmark, its silhouette rising from the coastline like a sandcastle reaching for the sky. The Del, as the resort is affectionately known, quickly became known for its setting and was touted in contemporary brochures as the “unrivaled Queen of seaside resorts … this enchanting spot has no equal in America … or the world.” In that era, wealthy guests traveled from the East Coast for a week or more by train and stayed at the resort for months at a time, enjoying San Diego’s mild temperatures and year-round sunshine, especially in the wintertime.



Oz in the News 10.14.17

Oz at the South Carolina State Museum Get ready for a month-long Halloween adventure as the South Carolina State Museum becomes the Museum of OzTravel to Oz with daily showings of, The Wizard of Oz 4-D Experience™, enjoy special OZ themed events all month long and follow the Yellow Brick Road from a Kansas farm all the way to the Emerald City. Enjoy tales of epic adventure in Oz told as a constellation myth, using imagined patterns of stars in the night sky. We’ll also take a quick look at the current night sky from here at home in Columbia.


Oz in the News 10.8.17

Yellow Bricks: OztoberFest features costumes, games, Lego portrait When Allen Hickmon was 7 years old, he told his mother he was going to grow up to be a Lego master. His parents would buy him Legos often, and he would spend hours on his Lego art creations. “My dad, he couldn’t understand why I was spending so many hours in my room just doing this,” Hickmon said. Later, when his father saw one of his major pieces being debuted in front of tens of thousands of people, he understood and was proud, Hickmon said. Hickmon, a Lego master from Kansas City who builds creations for clients, was at OztoberFest in Wamego Saturday, showing a portrait of Dorothy he made for the festival. The Lego portrait took him two full days to complete, he said. On his table display outside of the Oz Museum was also a smaller portrait of the Cowardly Lion, a small replica of the Oz Museum and the land of Oz.

Oz in the News 10.6.17

OZtoberFest to feature several Oz celebrities MGM’s legendary motion picture of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz book has enchanted audiences since its premiere in 1939. A major component of its unforgettable appeal is the performance of Margaret Hamilton, who has given millions of viewers an eternal dose of gleeful terror in her role as the Wicked Witch of the West. Her son, Hamilton Meserve, serves as keynote speaker of OZtoberFest! 2017 with his illustrated presentation, “OZ, The Witch, and Mom.” Joining him on Wamego’s special guest roster are the acclaimed Shanice Williams — who triumphed over several hundred other applicants to win the role of Dorothy in NBC-TV’s musical production of The Wiz Live! in December 2015 – and Gabriel Gale, conceptualizer and coauthor of the new book trilogy for children and young adults, Ages of Oz. Simon & Schuster published its first volume, A Fiery Friendship, in May. All three will be presented and/or interviewed onstage by best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning producer John Fricke, perennial OZtoberFest! master of ceremonies and preeminent Oz and Judy Garland historian.  Additional, returning guests for 2017 include: Paul Miles Schneider of Lawrence, author of Silver Shoes and The Powder of LifeJohnPaul Cafiero, whose family’s extraordinary collection makes up a great percentage of material showcased at Wamego’s OZ Museum; Ryan Jay, nationally-known film critic; and Jane Albright, current president of The International Wizard of Oz Club.

Oz in the News 10.2.17

Son of Wicked Witch of the West actor, Dorothy from ‘The Wiz Live!’ among celebrities to appear at Wamego’s OztoberFest Since Wamego’s signature event OztoberFest began 13 years ago, organizers have continuously worked to keep its offerings current. “The actors who played the munchkins used to come to the festival, and the festival was very large back then, but since then the munchkins have all passed away except for one, so the festival started dying a little bit,” said Kimberley Shepherd, Oz Museum gift shop operations manager and one of the event organizers. “So we had to start bringing in newer generations of Oz dignitaries.” This year, Oz celebrities include Gabriel Gale, who conceptualized and co-wrote the new book trilogy “Ages of Oz”; Shanice Williams, who played Dorothy in NBC’s TV production of “The Wiz Live!”; and Hamilton Meserve, the event’s keynote speaker, with his illustrated presentation “OZ, The Witch, and Mom.”

Oz in the News 9.28.17

A terrifying Halloween event based on The Wizard of Oz is taking place in a Welsh derelict chapel The teams’ aim is to escape terrors from the 1939 Judy Garland film featuring the Lion, Witch, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Munchkins, winged monkeys and more, all set in a universe where things have gone terribly wrong. It’s the brainchild of Toby Brandon, creative director of Twins of Evil Attractions, who said: “You think of the word ‘Oz’ and you think of The Wizard of Oz. Regardless of where you are from or how old you are. It’s probably one of biggest films in the world, so I thought ‘how can I take it and really twist it?’ Toby was coy on what exactly it is, but said there will be a “world record” involved in the scary event.

Five things you didn’t know about “Over the Rainbow”  #3 – Less than a year after The Wizard of Oz premiered, MGM used the song again in another film, the social comedy The Philadelphia Story. Katherine Hepburn, playing a wealthy socialite on the eve of her wedding, and James Stewart, a tabloid reporter sent to get a scoop on the event, share a drunken midnight swim at her family estate. As he carries her back to the house, Stewart sings a garbled version of the song:“Some day over the rainbow,” he croons, much to the delight of a groggy Hepburn.

Cast Announced For Wicked 2018 Uk & Ireland Tour Audiences across the country can look forward to seeing a cast including the likes of Amy Ross (Elphaba) and Helen Woolf (Glinda) Defying Gravity as the magnificent musical Wicked tours in 2018. Ross, who most recently starred as in fellow West End hits Kinky Boots (as Nicola) and Sunny Afternoon (playing Joyce), and Woolf (Wicked, West End), will be joined by the likes of Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Kim Ismay (Madame Morrible), Emily Shaw (Nessarose), Iddon Jones (Boq) and Nikki Bentley (Standby for Elphaba), along with the previously announced Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero), in leading the cast of the forthcoming return engagement of Wicked’s UK & Ireland Tour in 2018.

Oz in the News 9.21.17

Ohio Wizard of Oz Festival September 22-24, 2017 Macedonia, Ohio (PRNewsfoto/Ohio Wizard of Oz Festival)

Ohio Wizard of Oz Festival September 22-24, 2017 Macedonia, Ohio The 1900 Book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is coming to life this Friday, September 22nd thru Sunday, September 24th in Longwood Park, Macedonia, Ohio. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Glinda, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Toto too will be in Longwood Park, Macedonia, Ohio to take pictures with all their fans, also take you down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City! Some of the other exciting events planned are: 

  • Emerald City Gala-At the Bertram Inn & Conference Center 600 N. Aurora Rd., Ohio 44202 this event will include: Dinner, Entertainment, Silent Auction, and meet fellow Oz fans & collectors. This is at the Bertram Inn Friday, September 22, 2017 at 6PM
  • World Record attempt to have the largest gathering of people dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz current record is 1,093 people. This will be at Longwood Park, Macedonia, Ohio on Saturday, September 23, 2017starting at 1PM
  • OZ & Judy Garland Expo-Silent Auction, Wizard of Oz & Judy Garland Memorabilia, Oz Display and More!
  • Breakfast with Dorothy & Friends at the Bertram Inn Sunday, September 24, 2017 starting at 9AM
  • Wonderful Wizard of Oz Costume Contests for Children & Adults
  • “Wizard of Oz” Marionette show by renowned Stevens Puppets-
  • Munchkin Land Carnival with Games, Crafts Stations, Painting Parties, etc.
  • Various Entertainment-Magicians, Musicians, Face Painters, etc.