For those of you are who are into movies and particularly the movie, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, then you need to visit the OZ MUSEUM which is located in Kansas. Actually it is located in a small Kansas town of Wamego which is located about 40 miles west of Topeka, the State Capitol and just a few miles north of I-70. Over 35,000 visit the museum yearly and not only from the United States but from all over the world !
Founded in 2004, the OZ MUSEUM in Wamego is dedicated to THE WIZARD OF OZ: from L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 book to MGM’s iconic 1939 film. It even features memorabilia from the Tony Award-Winning Broadway musical, THE WIZ and Motown’s film adaptation.
Since they opened, their artifacts now number in the thousands. You will find a complete history of the author, L. Frank Baum. He was quite a remarkable and a very interesting person. The museum is quite large and takes up 2 buildings.You will see life size replicas of Judy, the Tin Man, the Lion, the Scarecrow as will as Glinda, the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
You can see many costumes of the cast as well as interesting photographs and read about the “munchkns” and different things about the making of the movie.
In the Museum they have a movie theatre that runs all day so if you get the urge to see the movie again, just sit down and enjoy it.
In addition they have a large gift shop where you can purchase all kinds of Oz memorabilia.
Every October, the small Kansas town transforms for it’s annual “OZtoberFEST” weekend when thousands of people descend into town. It reminds us of “Elvis Week” at Graceland in Memphis”.
The Oz Museum is located right downtown and the Columbia Theatre Museum and Art Center is just a few doors down the street. It is a grand old structure which has been renovated back to it’s grand old glory. We were most impressed with 6 rare paintings from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair each measuring 11 feet by 16 feet. Besides having an art museum they also have live theatrical productions. It is truly a remarkable structure.
Any museum is only as good as the people involved with it and Clint Stueve, Executive Director of both the Oz Museum as well as the Columbian Theatre, and Chris Glasgow, Curator have done an outstanding job. Chris gave us a tour of the museum and she is one of the finest tour guides that we have had in our travels across the country. This is a “MUST SEE” MUSEUM and now that we got rid of governor brownback, it truly is safe to visit Kansas.
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).