Tuesday, September 13, 2011

‘Oz’ in Indiana: A 30-year festival celebration in Chesterton

The Wizard of Oz, 1939, Starring Judy Garland

If you have a Festival – they will come, and the public has come in droves for the Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton, Indiana, which this year celebrates its 30th year of connecting families and “Ozphiles” with all things Wizard of Oz on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16, 17, and 18, 2011.

Situated practically in the center of the Midwest, Chesterton, Indiana (about 50 miles south of downtown Chicago) has annually hosted this unique Festival that includes a plethora of family-friendly events, lots of celebrities and fun activities.

The three-day Festival takes place on Broadway between Calumet Road and 4th Street in Chesterton, with kick-off festivities, the Emerald City Party in the Park, beginning Friday, Sept. 16 at 2:00 p.m. and running until 6:00 p.m. at Thomas Centennial Park, then followed by other planned evening events. 

Saturday’s Festival schedule runs from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Festival attendees will be treated to many entertaining options that include: 
Celebrities; A parade; Oz 5K race, Silent auction; Drive-in showings of the original WIZARD OF OZ feature film; A birthday party for ‘Dorothy’; "Authors in the Park"; Contests; Kids Zone that includes puppets, magic singing and characters; Autograph party with celebrities; Special American Legion event; Quilt raffle; Oz artwork; Oz books; Oz  t-shirts, and all manner of Oz memorabilia and souvenirs, and a “Brunchkin” – lunch with the Munchkins.

Celebrities who will be on-hand include: 
Festival Founder - Jean Nelson;Original Munchkins from the MGM movie –“Flower Pot Lady” - Margaret Pellegrini and “Trumpeter” - Karl Slover; Munchkins by marriage - Mary Ellen St. Aubin, and Myrna Swenson; Judy Garland’s Stand-in - Caren Marsh-Doll; L. Frank Baum’s Great Grandsons - .Robert Baum and his wife Clare, and author, Roger Baum and his wife Charlene; Emmy Award-winning Judy Garland Historian/ Author, John Fricke; Miss Indiana, Jackie Jerlecki; Judy Garland Curator, Michael Siewert; Artist, Joe Shipbaugh and noted award-winning Oz Illustrator, Rick Ewigleben, plus all the lovable “official” Oz characters.

For complete information on the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival, as well as local overnight accommodations, visit the event’s comprehensive online website at: http://www.ozfestivalchesterton.com/

Over the years, there have been numerous restorations and generations of MGM’s THE WIZARD OF OZ, graduating from theater, to television, to video, to DVD and finally Blu Ray, but below for your enjoyment, the original 1939 movie trailer.

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