Who said nothing exciting ever happens in Kansas? After all, Kansas is the setting where Dorothy found the portal to that magical world somewhere over the rainbow. Every year, a special event takes place in Liberal, Kansas– a small southwestern Kansas city with a population of 20,525. This event is known as Ozfest (no, not Ozzfest all you metal heads) and occurs on the Dorothy’s House Museum grounds. The festival includes a parade, scarecrow making contest, food, games, Munchkin actors, live bands, breakfast with the Oz characters, walks down the Yellow Brick Road with a Dorothy look-alike, and much more.
“Dorothy’s House” came into being in 1907 and belongs to the Seward County Historical society. John Carlin, former governor of Kansas, ‘recognized’ the house as the official residence of Dorthoty Gale in 1981. Dorothy’s house has been reconstructed into an exact replica of the house shown in
“The Wizard of Oz” film.
The museum also invites guests to explore “The Land of Oz,” a 5,000 square foot display filled with animated Munchkins, flying monkeys, witches, gabbing trees, and the most beloved characters of the Wizard of Oz film–Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Toto, and Dorothy herself.
The Land of Oz display is the brainchild of a woman named Linday Kay Edson who has had a lifelong love affair with all things Oz. She began creating her own magical world in 1981. The display was used in different locations to raise funds for charities and it moved various times throughout the years. With the help of her family she found a lasting home for her dream in 1992, at Dorothy’s House Museum.
Similar attractions have sprung up around the United States through the years but none seem as quaint and as true to the story as this little world of enchantment hiding in Liberal, Kansas.