In mid-September, the wonderful town of Chesterton, Indiana hosts an incredible Wizard of Oz Festival and this year's festival was as wonderful as ever. I spoke last week about my first day there. Now, we take a look at day two on Sunday, September 16th, 2012.
Day two was as beautiful a day as day one, which is highly unusual for the Oz festival. Normally, one of the three days has rain... but not this year. Crowds were good and despite an odd repositioning of authors that gave us some concerns, foot traffic was acceptable, though next year, I hope to be back on the main drag (so to speak).
On this day, there was a wonderful puppet show called "Bob Wall's Wizard of Oz Puppet show".
This was, in my opinion, one of the best parts of this year's Wizard of Oz festival. The kids were enthralled by the performance and every show was packed with kids and adults who seemed genuinely captivated by the marrionettes, all of which were very old and highly detailed.
I hope the folks at Chesterton bring this show back next year. I thought it worked very well and was a wonderful experience for young and old alike.
As usual, the Tin Woodman was in tall attendance,
as well as more Dorothy's than you could shake a stick at!
It was great to see many old friends at Oz, including Walter Krueger, who has one of the biggest Oz collections imaginable. I consider him to be a great guy and a good friend who I always look forward to seeing at every Oz festival I attend.
The closing ceremony was, as always, well attended.
As always, whenever John Fricke and Margarette Peligrinni (original Munchkin from the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz movie), get together, the kibbitzing gets going! Those two just love teasing each other and it's easy to see that there is genuine freindship between these two, as well as everyone associated with Oz.
It was also announced who had won the Good Witch vs. Bad Witch comnpetition, which had been the theme of this year's festival. Of course, Good always wins out over Bad,
although the Wicked Witch of the West vowed to return next year and defeat Glinda!
Finally, the festival ended with a rousing sing-along of "We're off to see the Wizard!" in memory of Karl Slover, another Munchkin who passed away last November. I was fortunate enough to have had the honor of knowing Karl and like everyone else, his absence was keenly felt.
After the closing ceremonies, everyone affiliated with the festival gathered for a wrap party. I was quite concerned for the sturdiness of the stage, but it seemed to survive the gathering of Oz.
So now, I wait another year for the next festival in Chesterton. I'm looking forward to it since I'll have a new Oz book, co-authored by myself and my wife Amanda. This new book, The Emerald Slippers of Oz was actually Amanda's idea and I'm finding her to be an outstanding writer.
For now, we seek out other Oz events to attend and count the days until next September... and Oz!!!!
James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma