Planning Oz travels for 2019? For many fans, the closest event can become an annual favorite. I am fortunate to be within an easy drive of Oztoberfest, the annual event hosted by The Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas. For the museum’s blog I, on behalf of the Club, provide them with a calendar of upcoming monthly events. This year’s Oct. 6 event was especially memorable because it opened with the unveiling of the museum’s marvelous new facade.
This past year’s Oztoberfest was a wonderful Saturday spent meeting Oz fans at the Oz Museum. I was stationed in the Museum’s little theater where a pair of local students put on a hand puppet show. Before performances I talked to the audience about Oz puppetry, and did a bit of show and tell with puppets that were mass-produced for kids. Fun time!
The art exhibit in the Swogger Gallery featured Totos with surface designs by local artists. They were imaginative and fun! Additional pieces included a wonderful fiber monkey with Toto, as well as lots of framed paintings and photos. Not every piece had an Oz theme, but the majority certainly did.
The Oz Museum is always a fun place for fans to visit. It’s especially satisfying to see it crowded. There was a steady stream of families Saturday. I am delighted to report that the Oz Club gained a dozen new members! Many thanks to Lynn Beltz for promoting membership next to the IWOC display case in the museum.
Outside the streets of Wamego are now dotted with large, decorated Toto sculptures. My favorite was in front of the library. His body is layered with page from the book he’s reading, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!
The days prior to the festival, many of us who attend as invited guests speak
about Oz in the local schools. This year was particularly fun for me because I got to put together a presentation about international Oz. Although most of my effort went into the digital presentation, the samples of international products I brought to pass around the class were the biggest hit with the students.