Wizard of Oz Guinness Record Set by Grand Rapids on June 13, 2014

How it Began…

Dorothy From Wizard of Oz

Reece Veatch from Ohio challenged the Judy Garland Museum to set new Wizard of Oz Guinness Record

Nine-year-old Reece Veatch of Ohio reached out to the Judy Garland Museum to help achieve her dream of breaking the world record for the most dressed-up Wizard of Oz characters. The Museum board, staff and volunteers saw Reece’s challenge as a wonderful opportunity in conjunction with their upcoming 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz Festival.  The Board sent notification out to area non-profit organizations to make it a joint effort opportunity.  As a result of their calls to action, over 14 nonprofits came together with area families and visitors to help break the record.  (Afterwards, the Judy Garland Museum Board made a donation to each organization as a token of thanks.)

Wizard of Oz Event

Wizard of Oz

Ray Nikel, the Wizard

On June 13 , 2014, Reece’s dream became a reality and the new Wizard of Oz Guinness Record was set by Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  The old record, claimed by England with 446 participants, was replaced by small town Minnesota with 1,093 people dressed to the finest in Wizard of Oz costumes.  The event had many volunteer officials from local residents to law enforcement leaders.  These volunteers helped with everything from crowd control, media relations, and the being official counters.  Media arrived from across the world to cover the event.  A partitioned area, where only those in official costume were allowed, was put up – and a long line began to form. Eventually it reached two blocks in length, filled with eager fans who wanted to be a part of this once in a lifetime event.  Each person was judged on their official costume. Once approved, they were given wrist bands.  The entire event was filmed by multiple camera crews – in both still and video format.  The festivities included music and games for kids.

Official Record

Wizard of Oz Challenge

June 13, 2014 Wizard of Oz Guinness challenge

The Guinness World Record, after reviewing all of the video and photographic evidence, made the Grand Rapids record official on Friday, July 25, 2014. The official Guinness certificate will read: “The current record for ‘Largest gathering of people dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz’ is: 1,093 people and was achieved by The Judy Garland Museum and Wizard of Oz Festival (both USA) in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA, on June 13, 2014.

Judy Garland Museum

The World Record Certification and footage from the event can be viewed at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  Memorabilia from the Guinness Book Record event and the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz Festival can be purchased at the Museum.  (Memorabilia includes items such as t-shirts, group photo or poster of the record breaking event, official Wizard of Oz costumes, etc.)

The Judy Garland Museum is located at 2727 US Highway 169 South in Grand Rapids.  The Museum staff can be contacted at 218.327.9276 or by email at director@cdmkids.org.  For more information regarding the Judy Garland Museum and any upcoming events and exhibits you can check out their website at www.judygarlandmuseum.com.