Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Clarksville is a lovely little hamlet south of Mark Twain's birthplace and a wonderful place to celebrate the Land of Oz.
The day started out great with clear skies and great temperatures, especially for the end of August. Naturally, the Gang from Oz showed up and wowed the kids with song, dance and plenty of smiles.
We set up our table and soon, Tails of Oz, The Emerald Slippers of Oz and the Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy. including Magician of Oz, Shadow Demon of Oz and Family of Oz, were flying off the table and into the loving arms of eager readers. We were very pleased with the love and support shown to us throughout the day.
I was pleased to see that the festival organizers had also invited Bob Walls and his wonderful marionette show, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As you can see, the kids were captivated by his offbeat and quirky performance. Every show was packed and I have always felt that this kind of show is needed more and more as kids drift away from live performances in favor of whatever shows up on their smartphones.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!!!
The town itself is a fairly small and rural community, but it acquitted itself quite nicely in putting together its first ever Wizard of Oz festival. In all, I would say that about a thousand people attended through the course of the day.
Of course, kids dressed up in Oz costumes were in great abundance as the festival held numerous costume contests, witch cackling contests and the like.
The highlight of the day for me personally was a guest appearance at the Clarksville Library for a reading from Tails of Oz. In addition, as a habit begun at my first Wizard of Oz festival, I donated a set of our books, Tails of Oz, The Emerald Slippers of Oz and my own book, The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu to the library in support of promoting Youth Literacy.
I couldn't help but notice that Glinda's Palace had been transformed into a nice bounce house. I'm certain she would approve.
In fact, the whole town really got into the Spirit of Oz.
Oddly enough, this festival reminded me of the old Chesterton Wizard of Oz festival in one very unique way.
If you ever attended the old Chesterton Wizard of Oz festival, you'll get this joke.
One really pleasant surprise was finding a winged sock monkey in one of the Oz booths. It reminded me of one of the short stories in Tails of Oz entitled, The Terrible Two's, which includes a wonderful Winged Sock Monkey.
Overall, both Amanda and I were very pleased with the day overall and very pleased with how well the festival went, especially considering that this was Clarksville's first ever Wizard of Oz festival. We hope to attend next year and introduce our next book, Nomes of Oz, as well as possibly having Even More Tails of Oz ready for the fun of Oz. Until then, we're off to Oz... to Oz!!!