Oz-Stravaganza Celebrates 41st Annual Festival in Chittenango


Chittenango is the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, creator of the Wizard of Oz. For 41 years the village has been celebrating with Oz-Stravaganza, a festival in his honor.

John Fricke, a special guest of the festival, is regarded as the world’s preeminent ‘Wizard of Oz” and Judy Garland historian/author.  Fricke has written seven books based on the Wizard of Oz and has won two Emmy awards for producing and writing the
Garland documentaries. He will be on hand to enhance the Magic of the Wizard of Oz.

“It’s been amazing, because I’ve been a fan since I was five and it was never supposed to become a career,” said Fricke. “But thanks to Frank Baum it is a career all over the world because everyone knows that story and those people.”

Ruby Rakos, singer and actor, will be singing for the Oz-Stravaganza festival. Rakos has starred as Judy Garland in several productions of the musical “Chasing Rainbows: The Road of Oz”.

“I read so many books about her early life and watched all her movies, and I listened to her sing and tried to copy what she does, and she was just the girl next door and so relatable and it’s amazing how, no matter how many hardships she faced in her life she was just so optimistic and joyful,” Rakos said.  

The 41st annual Oz-Stravaganza festival in Chittenango runs May 31st through June 2nd. 

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the movie “Wizard of Oz” there will be a free showing at Chittenango High School, 150 Genesee St on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The parade will be held on Saturday, June 1st at 2 p.m. The theme for the Oz-Stravaganza parade is “Magic of Oz”. Entry is free. For more information visit Oz-Stravaganza.com


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