Wamego gears up for OZtoberFest

WAMEGO (KSNT) — You don’t need to be swept away by a tornado to get to OZ, or follow a yellow brick road either. Just take Highway 24 to get to Wamego.

That’s because, next weekend, the little town is hosting one of their biggest events of the year: OZtoberFest, where OZ comes to life. And there’s a lot to prepare for.

“All up and down Main Street we’ll have antique cars… we’ll have a costume contest.”

The town lives and breathes the magical world originally created by L. Frank Baum with restaurants like Toto’s Tacos and The Yellow Brick Road. And the event is so ambitious that kids from local schools are painting pictures of OZ on local businesses’ windows.

Development Manager Bob Potemski says that the event involves many organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the OZ Museum, Columbian Theatre, and local merchants.

The festival isn’t exclusive to locals. According to Toto’s Tacos’ owner Craig Lord, people from all over the world come to the event, helping generate a lot of business.

“We’ll go up 200, 300 percent,” he says.

And the OZ Museum isn’t shy of visitors either, with over 400 visitors last year for OZtoberFest alone and 35,000 people annually. This year the museum will be displaying two original MGM costumes from the movie.

“They’ll have the opportunity to see them together for one of the very few times that will happen during the OZtoberFest weekend,” says Bob Potemski.

And next week there’ll be no place like Wamego.

You can find more information about OZtoberFest here.

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