Event celebrates 80th anniversary of the classic movie

HANNIBAL – Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Wizard of Oz Days festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, inside the Hannibal Inn and Conference Center, 4141 Market St. in Hannibal. 

Visitors to the free event will experience the magic of L. Frank Baum’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The festival will feature the nationally-acclaimed Spirit of Oz — Wizard of Oz Characters from Indiana — again for 2019. Since the festival’s 2015 debut, the Spirit of Oz group has been a crowd favorite.

People visiting the festival will get a chance to meet characters from the book, like the Scarecrow, Dorothy Gale, Glinda, the good witch, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. The Wicked Witch of the West will be at the event, too. Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Miss Gulch, Professor Marvel and the Wizard himself will also make guest appearances.

The festival's featured guest will be Mary Ellen St. Aubin, a true Munchkin by marriage. At the age of 99, Mary Ellen still travels the U.S., making appearances about the Wizard of Oz. St. Aubin’s husband, Parnell, was a Munchkin soldier in the 1939 Wizard of Oz classic. The festival will welcome Mary Ellen as the first lady of the Wizard of Oz Days.

The 2019 Wizard of Oz Days is proud to welcome back Steven’s Puppets. If you have never witnessed an old fashioned marionette puppet show, you are in for a special treat. Nationally known puppeteer Bob Walls will lead audience members through the story of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

A variety of vendors from across the Midwest will display items including Oz collectibles and handmade crafts. Oz artists and authors will be on hand as well.

Food, contests, games and and other activities will be geared toward taking guests back to the magical Land of Oz.

Updates and news are available on the 2019 Wizard of Oz Days Facebook Event page.