Wizard of Oz Festival

Wizard of Oz Festival

Third weekend in September
The story of Oz, originally created by author L. Frank Baum in his 1900 children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has become an enduring tale for the ages. In 1939, the classic film The Wizard of Oz was released, based on Baum's book. Since 1982, the story has come to life again every September in the town of Chesterton, Ind., as townspeople dress up and portray Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Glinda the Good Witch, and other characters. A huge sculpture of the Tin Man overlooks the proceedings from the top of a downtown building. The festival also serves as a reunion site for actors who played the Munchkins in the film—many come every year to meet fans and participate in the annual hour-long Oz Fantasy Parade, Munchkin autograph parties, a Munchkin celebrity dinner and dance, and a Munchkin breakfast.
As if all this were not enough, the festival also has a town crier competition, Auntie Em's pie contest, a juried arts and crafts display, Oz memorabilia collectors' gatherings, and a teddy bear parade and tea party.
CONTACTS:
Duneland Chamber of Commerce
220 Broadway
P.O. Box 2711
Chesterton, IN 46304
219-926-5513; fax: 219-926-7593
www.chestertonchamber.org
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Past Indiana entries on the "Local Secrets, Big Finds" list have included the annual Pierogi Fest in Whiting, the out-of-the-way Bonge's Tavern in Perkinsville, the Joe Huber Family Farm & Restaurant in Starlight, the Cataract General Store in Spencer and the Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton.
The town's third annual Wizard of Oz Festival is expected to draw more than 3,000 fans for a fun-filled day October 9, a wicked witch cackling contest, Oz character look-alike contests, a screening of the original 1939 movie in Lucedale Municipal Park, and more.
Baum's descendant Roger will reject the claim of Littlefield and other eggheads at a Wizard Of Oz festival in Indiana.
His final acting role was in 2010 and, though he had retired, he continued attending Judy Garland and Wizard of Oz festivals, celebrating the legacies of the late star and the film.