Wizard of Oz characters

Original Cast from 1939 Wizard of Oz film.

The Judy Garland Museum will host the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz Festival June 10-14, 2014 in Grand Rapids, MN.  The festival name has been changed this year from the Judy Garland Festival to the Wizard of Oz Festival in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”, starring Judy Garland.  Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on June 10, 1922.  The mission for this years festival is “Honoring Stars from the past, and inspiring talent for our future”.   The complete schedule of events can be found on our Judy Garland website, www.judygarlandmuseum.com

Celebrate Judy Garland’s 92nd Birthday in her birthplace, Grand Rapids

On Tuesday, June 10, the first day of the festival, the Judy Garland Museum will be the unveiling the new 3,000 piece Wizard of Oz exhibit at the Judy Garland Museum.  That evening the Museum will host a “Get Happy” Birthday party sing-a-long at the Sawmill Inn Hotel celebrating Judy’s birthday with, located next door to the museum.

Picture of Old Central School

Yellow Brick Road is located at the Old Central School

Wizard of Oz Events at Old Central School

Wednesday, June 11, will start with a Welcome Breakfast and “Missing Ruby Slipper” detective update breakfast meeting, also at the Sawmill Inn and a “Welcome Dorothy” party at the Old Central School House in downtown Grand Rapids, MN.  The “Welcome Dorothy” party will include horse and carriage rides, Oz related games and our very own “Wash & Brush Up Company” complete with hair braiding and chalk coloring, special Oz nail polish designs and Oz glitter tattoos.  The Judy Garland Museum will also be hosting a “Munchkin Baby Shower” on the grounds of Old Central School.  The proceeds of the baby shower will go to Baby Steps Boutique, a non-profit organization that helps families in need.  Tuesday will end with a Oz Mystery Party Dinner at the Sawmill Inn

Oz Film Fest

Thursday, June 12th will start with an Oz Film Fest at 9am in the Judy Garland Museum – Free for Members, $8 museum admission. Three different Oz films will be shown (not the 1939 one) 
The Muppets Wizard of Oz Movie,“The Wiz” (1978) starring Michael Jackson & Diana Ross &
Disney’s 1985 Return to Oz, Starring Fairuza Balk.  Following from 1-3pm will be Oz Jeopardy at the Sawmill Inn.  From 3-4pm will be a Toto Dog Talent Contest , and then the day will end with a Wizard of Oz banquet and program with commemorative photos of Wizard of Oz characters.

John Fricke

John Fricke, Wizard of Oz & Judy Garland Historian

Making of the Wizard of Oz & Impact of Oz

Friday, June 13th from 10-11:30am will start with John Fricke, Judy Garland and Oz Historian & Author, will present Making of the Wizard of Oz reviewing the movie, presenting a slide show & lecture at Sawmill Inn.  John will also present on The Impact of Oz from 12pm-1pm on how the film has impacted popular culture over the last 75 years.  Each presentation is $10.  The Oz Fest will take place from 2:30-5:30-pm at the Judy Garland/Children’s Museum; family friendly event with a petting zoo, games and prizes for $8/person.  End the evening under the stars for a free family viewing of the Wizard of Oz on the lawn of the Evergreen Terrace next door to the Judy Garland Museum.

Guinness Book of World Records

On Saturday, June 14th, there will be a Red Sneaker Walk, Emerald City Fest, Exclusive VIP Party, a Youth Talent Contest and a Guinness Book of World Records.  Miss Reece Veatch, will be our “Honorary Dorothy” for the Wizard of Oz festival.  Reece is an 8 year old girl, from Ohio, who came up with the idea to attempt to break a Guinness Book of World Records, during our 2014 festival, for the most dressed up characters from the 1939 movie,  “The Wizard of Oz”.  $1 for each participant will collected and go to our local Habitat for Humanity – also Reece’s idea!  .

Be a Part of the Wizard of Oz Yellow Brick Road

You can be a part of the Wizard of Oz Yellow Brick Road located at the Old Central School in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  Each year the Itasca County Historical Society sells yellow brick etchings on the Yellow Brick Road that is located in downtown Grand Rapids.  This is your opportunity to have a yellow brick with your personal message or family designation on it forever.  The City of Grand Rapids and the Itasca County Historical Society work together to maintain the integrity of the bricks each year with regular maintenance.  Don’t delay order your personalized Yellow Brick Road Stone Etching today.

Minnesota Vacation in Grand Rapids

Visit Grand Rapids Logo

Summer is a beautiful time to come to Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  Stay for the week or make a long weekend out of the Wizard of Oz festivities.  Grand Rapids has many properties located within minutes of downtown Grand Rapids.  Check out the Grand Rapids Lodging to book your Minnesota Vacation while in town for the Wizard of Oz Festival.  There are over 1,000 area lakes, and over 1 million of pristine public forest land around Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  There is wide variety of outdoor recreation area attractions to take in while in Grand Rapids.  Check out the shopping in Grand Rapids;  many unique shops to bring home that one of a kind memento of your trip.  And there are many Grand Rapids dining establishments, so you will sure to find one that meets your budget and your appetite.  Check out the Visit Grand Rapids website to help you plan your summer Minnesota Vacation.  If you have additional questions, we are here to answer them at 1-800-355-9740.