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Posted on September 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM by Autumn Shoemaker
Wamego's OZtoberFest Hums Along to New Heights -- Musical, Ozzy, and Otherwise
Kansas Heralds All-Things-Oz from September 27th through 29th
(Wamego, KS) The annual OZtoberFest celebrates its 9th anniversary in Wamego, KS, from Friday, September 27 through Sunday, September 29th.
“The world-wide interest in The Wizard of Oz continues to stagger one’s mind,” said Wamego resident and Oz volunteer Bunny McCloud. “Year after year, we see new visitors and returning fans at the Oz Museum, and it’s a twelve-month attraction. But the OZtoberFest weekend is just the crowning event in our calendar.”
In addition to the Oz-themed attractions that bring people to Wamego from all over the nation, this year’s event features many added activities designed to appeal to local residents of all ages.
Mary Lyn Barnett is the Executive Director of The Wamego Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsors the festival along with the Oz Museum. At a recent Chamber meeting, she described several of the new features and underscored the "something for everyone" dynamic of 2013. "We have an adventure run called One Wicked Run: The OZtoberFest Obstacle Challenge that is sure to excite those who are fleet of foot and daring. We have the OZtoberFest Beer Garden. Saturday night's principal attraction is a dance at The Columbian, headlined by the Pott. County Posse, a local band comprised of area notables that has become a real draw in the area. Over the Rainbow: Betti O Sings the Music of Harold Arlen is our special Friday night fund-raiser, celebrating the man who wrote the songs for The Wizard of Oz and so many other shows and movies."
New activities for children also have been added to the roster, which now includes an expanded petting zoo, Oz look-alike contests, and coloring and writing competitions.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Chesterton, Indiana, Oz Festival had been canceled after three decades. "The Chesterton event was the granddaddy of all Oz fests,” commented Clark Balderson, chairman of the OZtoberFest steering committee. “While we are sad to see such a venerable event no longer on the calendar, we are ready to welcome any and all visitors who want to get their Oz festival fix this year.”
Other attractions during the weekend will include the annual Oz Winery Tallgrass Brewery BBQ tent and the entertainment stage, featuring area talent and numerous Oz-themed competitions. “A new, fun event will be the smartphone scavenger hunt,” said Shawn Lane, who is putting together the contest. “Oz-themed items will be located in discreet locations throughout the festival grounds. Take some photos and email them to the designated email address. That’s all it takes to win a fun Oz collectible from the Museum.”
For additional information about this event and other activities of the 2013 OZtoberFest, contact the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas, 1-866-458-TOTO. Or vist online at www.OZtoberFest.com.
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