IN THE BEGINNING. . .
In 1978, Librarian Clara Houck set out on a mission to acknowledge the history of the Village of Chittenango as the Birthplace of author L. Frank Baum. Baum would go on to write the American fairy tale- “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” to the delight of children around the world.
Clara organized the very first celebration. Local children dressed up as OZ characters and paraded around the library parking lot on May 15th. Then they went inside, had birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to L. Frank Baum.
A lot has changed since then. The festival became a multi-day event. Changed names from Oz-Fest to Oz-Stravaganza, and saw crowds increase from a few hundred for the parade to several thousand for the festival. The event is now run by the International L. Frank Baum & All Things Oz Historical Foundation. A non-profit, 100% volunteer organization who does it all for the love of Oz.
Today, we get ready to celebrate the 40th festival- our RUBY festival. The longest running and largest Wizard of Oz themed festival in the world is getting ready to dazzle thousands of fans, young and old alike in the birthplace of its creator, Lyman Frank Baum.
This year, whether you are a first time visitor or a well-traveled Ozian, we invite you to join us in the Syracuse suburb of Chittenango, NY. Special guests, live music, costume contests, festival food, rides, games, authors and artists, vendors galore, fireworks, and a museum dedicated to All Things Oz.
Come to Chittenango the first weekend of June. Join us for the whole weekend or just a day. And as for transportation- Syracuse has service by train, bus, and air. Of course…you can always arrive by broomstick, bubble or horse of a different color, if you choose.
No matter how you get here, we’ll be waiting to celebrate the OZ universe with you. Whether you fancy the MGM film or the books, Wicked, the WIZ, OzLand, Emerald City, Return to Oz, Oz: The Great and powerful or any other version of OZ- we have something for everyone. If you are an OZ fan…you definitely belong because after all…there’s no place like home!