Key Attractions
OZtoberFest 2008


The individuals who portrayed the Munchkins in "The Wizard of OZ" in 1939 were youngsters, teenagers and young adults.

Today there are only a few of these wonderful people still with us. We will welcome several of the original Munchkins to OZtoberFest 2008. Most are in their mid 80s but remain full of energy and enthusiasm for the film that made them familiar around the world.

This year we will welcome back our friends Margaret Pellegrini, Karl Slover, and Ruth Duccini.  For the first time, Jerry and Elizabeth Maren will be joining us.  You may recognize Jerry as the center member of the lollipop guild who awards Dorothy with a giant lollipop.   This is Jerry's first appearance at the OZ Museum, he and author Steve Cox, will be promoting their new book, Short and Sweet. 

The Munchkins will sign autographs and photos at selected locations and at specific times during OZtoberFest.  See the schedule of events or times and locations of Munchkin appearances.

There is no additional charge to enter the autograph sessions, but, you must purchase OZ Musuem tickets for admission into the Muchkin autograph session.

*The Muchkins charge an additional fee per autograph.*



Short and Sweet is a memoir of Jerry Maren's sixty-plus-year career in Hollywood.  Both Jerry Maren and Steve Cox will autograph your copy of Short and Sweet for no additional charge during OZtoberFest. 

Pre-order special!!!

You can purchase your copy of Short and Sweet ahead of time by calling The OZ Museum at 1-866-458-TOTO (8686).  We will e-mail you your receipt and you can pick up your book

at the autograph session by showing your proof of purchase.  


The Columbian Theatre will present The Wizard of OZ throughout the month of October, 2008. During the weekend of OZtoberFest, all 3 performances will feature cameo appearances by the original Munchkins who are attending the festival.  Click here to see schedule of Stage production and to order tickets on-line.


Visit the OZ Museum and meet the collector!

We are so excited to unveil the new OZ Museum collection the weekend of OZtoberfest!   You will have the opportunity to meet the owner of the new collection on exhibit, John Paul Cafiero. 

Friar Johnpaul Cafiero, OFM s a Franciscan Priest of the Sacred Heart Province of Chicago/St. Louis.  Born and raised in the New York Metro area, Friar Johnpaul is the oldest of an Italian/Polish Catholic family.  He is a former police officer who has worked as a counselor and chaplain at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago.  As a follower of St. Francis of Assisi, Friar Johnpaul’s love of the poor and outcasts is only surpassed by his love of the scripture.  This comes through his many speaking and preaching engagements.

Johnpaul writes, "Why is Oz so special?  I grew up in an alcoholic family – my grandfather and my dad.  Dad was in the Navy and was away a lot.  He always made it a point to get home for the annual TV showing of The Wizard of Oz.  It was family night, with big chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate.  There wasn’t any fighting or loud shouting.  It was just us together and enjoying each other’s company, hiding under our pillows when the Wicked Witch appeared.  As I got older and Dad got sober (40 years now) I realized why Oz was so important.  It was the place I could go, when “Kansas got crazy”.  It was that place “over the rainbow … where troubles melt like lemon drops …”, it was a place of magic. 

I have used the collection and the wisdom of Oz to do mentoring retreats with inner city kids in Chicago.  We talk about friends on the yellow brick road of life, of haunted forests, wicked witches and flying monkeys – drugs, gangs, poverty, and violence.  I ask them to look to the Wizard (God) for advice and the way home.  I get them to see the magic in their own hands – ruby slippers. Yes Oz is a very special place for me, my family and all those “young at heart” in search of the magic in life. "


The OZ Museum hosts one of the broadest collections of OZ Memoribilia in existance.  Come and explore over 100 years of OZ history, from the first edition L. Frank Baum books published in 1900 to the most current collectable pieces.  Shop in the OZ Museum gift shop for everything from exclusive apparel to waterglobes and other unique collectables. 


(great grandsons of L. Frank Baum)

Roger Baum

Roger Baum attended the Grand Opening of the OZ Museum in 2004 and the lines of people waiting for his autograph were testimony to his popularity as an author of children's books. Baum will be back for the OZtoberFest and is sure to delight even more with his stories and books.  Mr. Baum's books are available for sale in the OZ Museum gift shop.

Roger and his wife Charlene will be available all day Saturday and Sunday to answer questions and sign books. 

Robert and Clare Baum

Robert Baum has spent the first few years of his retirement traveling the world, re-enacting the life of L. Frank Baum, his great-grandfather. The celebrated author (L. Frank) began as a storyteller and great-grandson’s re-enactments are a delight to Baum fans of all ages. 

Mr. Baum has also loaned the OZ Museum numerous artifacts from

his personal family collection that will be on exhibit for the first time.  This will give OZtoberFest particiapants a rare glance into the life and family of L. Frank Baum.

Robert and Clare will be presenting in the OZ Museum Theatre on Saturday and Sunday.  They will also be available in the museum throughout the weekend to answer questions and sign autographs.




Author book signings and Presentations

Michael Siewert 

John Fricke

Steve Cox


Michael Siewert

Michael Siewert is back again with apartial showing of his national touring exhibit, Judy Garland The Dressing Of A Legend. Michael Siewert has amassed the largest collection of Judy Garland memorabilia in the world. He began collecting when he fell in love with "Dorothy" at the age of six years old. His exhibitions have allowed him to meet and spend time with many of Judy's family, colleagues and friends. He comes prepared with many great stories about Judy Garland and his collecting tactics. You will not want to miss this special event!

Michael will be presenting in the OZ Museum Theatre on Saturday and Sunday.  He will also be available in the museum throughout the weekend to answer questions and sign autographs.

Click here to visit Micheal Siewert's website.


John Fricke

We are pleased to welcome back John Fricke this year.  John is

widely acknowledged as the preeminent Judy Garland and Wizard of Oz author/historian, John Fricke received a 2004 Emmy Award as coproducer of the two-hour, PBS-TV 'American Masters' program, Judy Garland: By Myself. This was his second recognition by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; he won similar honors in 1997 as co-producer and co-writer of the A&E 'Biography' special, Judy: Beyond the Rainbow, based on his book, Judy Garland: World's Greatest Entertainer (Henry Holt, 1992).

In autumn 2005, Fricke served as creative consultant for the new, deluxe DVD set(s) of M-G-M's The Wizard of Oz, released by Warner Home Video. The discs include his on-camera appearance or behind-the-scenes participation in six of the eight accompanying Oz-related documentaries, as well as his narration and hosting of the alternate audio track commentary, heard throughout the film itself. The Oz set won highest honors in numerous critical and popular polls as 'best of 2005.' In 2006, Fricke appeared in the documentaries accompanying the first appearance on DVD of the Garland films Summer Stock, Ziegfeld Follies, and Till the Clouds Roll By.

His most recent book, Judy Garland: A Portrait in Art and Anecdote, was published in 2003 by Bulfinch Press and includes a foreword by Lorna Luft. This was the first such participation in any author's treatise on their mother by one of Judy's children. Fricke is also the author of 100 Years of Oz (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1999) -- an overview of the entire Oz phenomenon -- and The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History, most recently reissued in 1998 by Warner Books.

John will be presenting in the OZ Museum theatre on Saturday and Sunday.  He will also be available in the museum throughout the weekend to answer questions and sign autographs.


Steve Cox


STEPHEN COX is a freelance writer and author of more than a dozen books specializing in popular culture, film and television.  He has written for TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, US magazine, and has contributed feature stories to Los Angeles Times.  The author has been interviewed on CNN’s Larry King Live, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS News Nightwatch, E! True Hollywood Story, A&E Biography, Turner Classic Movies, MSNBC’s Headliners & Legends, Fox News’ Fox & Friends,  and Entertainment Tonight.  Cox, now 40, grew up in St. Louis and currently lives in Los Angeles.     Books by Cox include:

  • The Munchkins Remember   The Wizard of Oz and Beyond
  • The Addams Chronicles
  • The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Here’s Johnny!
  • The Abbott & Costello Story   Sixty Years of Who’s On First?
  • The Munsters    A Trip Down Mockingbird Lane
  • The Hooterville Handbook    A Viewer’s Guide to Green Acres
  • Here on Gilligan’s Isle
  • The Munchkins of Oz
  • Cooking in Oz with Elaine Willingham  
  • Dreaming of Jeannie   TVs Prime Time in a Bottle  
  • It’s a Wonderful Life   A Memory Book 
  • One Fine Stooge   Larry Fine’s Frizzy Life in Pictures 

              with Jim Terry  




Don't forget to check The Columbian Theatre for the fourth Annual OZtoberFest auction. Proceeds from the auction go to benefit the preservation and expansion of the OZ Museum.  Auction winners will also receive a one year membership to the OZ Museum as an Emerald City Citizen; Auntie Em's Family ($50.00 value).

Featured Auction item:

Copy of the Legal Death Certificate for the Wicked Witch of the East signed by Munchkin Coroner, Meinhart Raabe.  Also included with this item is the death certificate for the Wicked Witch of the West, signed by the Munchkins.

Other auction highlights include:

  • Dr. Pepper bike with helmet signed by all Special guests
  • 1939 Over the Rainbow Sheet Music signed by The Munchkins
  • 1959 Wizard of OZ Comic Classic Illustrated Junior Signed by The Munchkins, Robert and Roger Baum
  • 1985 Hamilton Collection Commemorative plate  A Glimpse of the Munchkins, signed by the Munchkins
  • 1981 Under the Rainbow movie poster signed by Ruth Duccini and Jerry Maren

For more information on auction items, please call the OZ Museum giftshop at 1-866-458-TOTO (8686).



OZtoberFest wouldn't be the same without the Munchkinland play area.  This area has giant inflatables to jump on, slide down, and manuver through as well as other family friendly activities.  Munchkinland will be operated by the Northeast Kansas Communtiy Action Program (NEK-CAP) and all proceeds from this event will go to benefit families in Northeast Kansas.  For more information on NEK-CAP, click here.

*Parents may not leave children unattended in Munchkinland.*

Munchkinland is sponsored by Walters-Morgan

Construction Inc.


Yellow Brick Road Ride

Hosted by the Pott. County Eco-Devo, this is the fourth year for the Yellow Brick Road ride.  Enjoy a day of cycling and fall scenery in beautiful Pottawatomie County, Kansas.  Click here for more information about the Yellow Brick Road Ride

WIN A $1000 GIFT CERTIFICATE:  The Pathfinder in Manhattan, KS has donated a $1000 gift certificate to be used as a fundraiser for the WAM-SAG-MAN Trail project.  Donate $5 ($25 donation gets you six chances).  Chances are available through October 4 until 1:30pm.  Drawing is at 2pm during the Yellow Brick Road Ride at Wamego High School. 

Howl-o-ween Parade and Costume Contest

Pottawatomie County Caring Hearts Humane Society is inviting all people and their pets to participate in the Howl-o-ween Parade and costume contest.  So, dress yourself and your pet up and join us!  Anyone is welcome to compete and there will be great prizes.  This fun event will generate much needed donations, all of which go toward the care of homeless local animals.  Registration is all day Saturday and the parade and costume judging begins at 4:00 pm.  Click here for more information on Pottawatomie County Caring Hearts as well as more information on the Howl-o-ween Parade and Contest.


Tin Man's AntiqueTruck and Tractor show


OZtoberFest has something for everyone, including Uncle Henry.  For the first time,  we will feature an antique truck and tractor show, featuring trucks from Stovebolts.com, local antique trucks, and tractors from Kan-Equip.  The first annual Tin Man's Pedal Truck races will also be held for the first time for kids ages 5-8 years old.  Registration will take place at the Stovebolt.com tent.  For more information on the Stovebolts click here.

First Annual Scarecrow Cook-off

Love to barbeque in your back yard?  Think you have some of the best tasting barbeque in the area?  Well, take your favorite pastime, talent, and pride and put in all on display during the Scarecrow cook-off.   Lichtenhan Ace Hardware has donated a $600.00 Broil-Mate gas grill to reward the Grand Champion.  There will be cash prizes and grilling accessories given to the winners.  To find out more information stop by Lichtenhan Ace Hardware, The OZ Museum, or the Columbian Theatre.  Or, call 785-456-2029 and speak to Valarie Lamoreaux.



Expressway to OZ


Kaw Valley Express returns this year for the second time.  You and your family can enjoy a train ride through OZ in beautiful downtown Wamego.  Train rides are $2.00 per person.

Attendee Participation Activities

Two blocks of Wamego's main street will be closed during the festival.  This area will be filled with activities for our OZtoberFest guests to enjoy.  The main stage will host entertainment throughout the day and the Emerald City Carnival will offer other non-profit organizations the opportunity to fundraise by hosting childen's carnival games.  Look for the Flying Monkey Toss, Yellow Brick Road Cupcake walk, pin the heart on the Tin Man, face painting, and much more!

Apply for the Limited Edition
Wizard of OZ Credit Card
No Annual Fee.
Proceeds help support the OZ Museum.
The Limited Edition OZ Credit Card

 Pricing   |   Schedule   |   Maps   |   Event Descriptions   |   Local Business Specials

OZtoberFest 2008
A joint project of The OZ Museum, The Columbian Theatre,
and the Wamego Chamber of Commerce/VisitWamego.com
For more information call 1-866-458-TOTO (8686), or Find us on the web at www.OZtoberFest.com