What sets this wonderful Oz festival apart from all other Wizard of Oz Festivals is a dedicated Yellow Brick Road, which pays tribute to the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz.
It all starts at Uncle Henry and Aunt Em's old farm.
Watch out though for Elmira Gulch, who's on the lookout for a mangy little dog that loves chasing her dumb 'ol cat!
A new addition is Professor Marvel's stage, which hosted Magic Matt, a fellow magician performing for festival attendees.
Soon, a Rainbow appears and beckons visitors into the Land of Oz.
Looks like Munchkin City is a happy place.
In time, Glinda drops by to wish us well on our journey to see the Wizard.
Soon, the Scarecrow shows up in his cornfield, ready for an adventure.
Now it's time to venture into the dark forest. Who knows what we'll find along the Yellow Brick Road.
If you listen closely, you'll even hear the screeching of Winged Monkeys. How about a little picture, Scarecrow!?
What's this? Could it be a witch's castle perhaps? Be careful crossing that bridge!
I wonder what we'll find inside?
At last, as we leave the forest, a field of poppies greets us as the Emerald City beckons us home.
And of course, what do find in the Emerald City? A broken bell, a wizard and a humbug! But all is well as our adventure along the Yellow Brick Road comes to an end.
The rest of the festival had some wonderful experiences, including a petting farm;
Great performances by the Spirit of Oz characters,
And Stephen's Puppets, performed by Bob Walls (aka: Puppet Dude). He does a Wonderful Wizard of Oz show that is a must see.
One of the best parts of the Illinois Oz Festival are the folks who dress up like their favorite characters from the Land of Oz.
There's the Scarecrow as a Winkie Guard.
Polychrome; Daughter of the Great Rainbow
A family done up in their favorite Oz characters.
And of course, Dorothy. This is Teresa Phillips, who we see every year. She is a wonderful person who truly embodies the spirit of Oz.
Near the end of the day, Puppet Dude came by with a friend who seemed quite enamored with our Ruby Slippers.
Overall, it was a wonderful time for Amanda and I as we introduce people to our unique vision of Oz.
We would like to thank Jim Robertson and all of his volunteer staff for putting on a great festival and treating us so kindly.
We look forward to next year, when our next 2 books, Aquareine in Oz and The Twin Witches of Oz make their debut.
Per ardua ad alta!!!