Sunday, June 6, 2010

Its a TWISTER! Its a TWISTER! ...but what a finish!

Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 came to an early end this morning, when a tornado paid a visit to the park. While sightings of witches on broomsticks and bicycles were few, one vendor reported seeing debris in the funnel of the tornado.

The park was closed, and the Munchkins were set up in the American Legion in Chittenango, for autographs. The silent auction was also completed at the Chittenango American Legion Post.

I had an opportunity to speak with several of the authors from this year's "Author's Alley". Julienne La Fleur gave me a copy of her book, Lessons From Oz. Julienne has a very natural and pleasant joy about her, and I hope to have an opportunity to interview her for either this blog, and/or the official Oz-stravaganza! Website. The book appears to be an easy read, with great insight into applying the varied scenes of the movie "The Wizard of Oz" to every day life in a way that is uplifting and encouraging.

I had some time to speak also with Jane Lahr and Maya Gottfried, our mother and daughter Grand Marshal team. Jane is the daughter, and Maya the granddaughter of Bert Lahr, who played "The Lion" in the original motion picture "The Wizard of Oz". I was lucky enough to get to see some great black and white photos of Bert posing in costume. Maya is promoting her book, Our Farm By The Animals Of Farm Sanctuary, which contains her poems and paintings by Robert Rahway Zakanitch.

I also had an opportunity to speak with Dennis Anfuso, who drew me a picture of "The Nome King" while we talked about some of the Oz books that character appeared in. Dennis is a talented author and illustrator who has done such works as The Winged Monkeys of Oz, The Astonishing Tale of the Gump of Oz, and A Promise Kept In Oz.

I briefly touched base with Joshua Dudly as well. He is the author of Lost in Oz; and, I'm hoping to have more time to talk with him about his works at some point in the near future.

Lastly, I had the great privilege of meeting John Fricke, whom it seems everyone in "the Oz world" knows. John is not only a well of Oz and Oz-related information, but also a memorable personality and an impressive public speaker. I'm looking forward to talking more with John about all things Oz.

Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 has ended - and it is now time to wrap up things with a rainbow of thank-you notes. Once the Oz Committee has their final wrap-up meeting - it will be time to start preparing for Oz-Stravaganza! 2011!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 Has Kicked Off!

As always, the fireworks display was great! With synchronizations to soundtrack clips from The Wizard of Oz, I felt like the Wizard was right out on the baseball field for a moment. :)

I can't wait to see you all at the festival tomorrow and Sunday. Don't forget to pick up a set of collector's buttons!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Best Wizard of Oz Festival is Only One Day Away!

We are only one day away from the kick-off of the World's Best Wizard of Oz Festival: Oz-Stravaganza!

We have been busy making the website as useful as possible to all of the Oz Fans. We are looking forward to seeing Oz Fans from all over the world! The farthest place I know folks are visiting from this year is Scotland! If you know of a visitor from a farther place, please leave a comment on this blog and let me know! :)

There is so much to do this coming weekend, that I hope you all download a copy of the Oz-Stravaganza! Program in advance of your arrival. You can find the Program at: Oz-Stravaganza! Program

If you are interested in participating in the Silent Auctions that will be taking place throughout the weekend, you should really get a leg up on your competition, by checking out what is on the auction block: Oz-Stravaganza! Silent Auction Items

Both the Coloring Contest, and the Writing Contest Winners have been announced on our website:

Coloring Contest Winners

Writing Contest Winners

Also the Finalists for Emerald City Idol have been announced! You can check out the list of the up-and-coming Emerald City Icons on the Oz-Stravaganza! Website.

You won't want to miss these folks sing! So, make sure you plan your Oz-Stravaganza! Weekend ahead of time, by checking out the Oz-Stravaganza! Program.

When I see you this weekend, you will no doubt be able to agree with me, that Oz-Stravaganza! is the Best Wizard of Oz Festival in the World... after all - It is Where Oz All Began!