Permanent Wizard of Oz Outdoor Exhibit Coming to Holland Summer 2019

The Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the City of Holland, Holland in Bloom, and Herrick District Library is pleased to announce the Holland Oz Project! The project will include the placement of life-sized bronze sculptures of Dorothy and Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion, as well as a 12½ foot “Fighting Tree” with a Flying Monkey perched on one of the branches. The sculptures will be placed along a yellow brick road on the north side of the library.  Across the street, in Centennial Park, a 10’ x 12’ “open book” filled with thousands of plants depicting the cover of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz will be placed along a yellow brick road. Both exhibits will be set in beautifully landscaped areas of perennials and annuals.

According to Baum’s great grandson, parts of the classic tale, published in 1900, were most likely written or worked on by L. Frank Baum while staying at his family’s cottage, The Sign of the Goose, in Macatawa. “It only seems right that we should honor this piece of Holland history,” said Sally Laukitis, Executive Director of the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.  “It has been a dream of the Visitors Bureau for a number of years to pay homage to Baum, especially since Holland hosted the International Oz Society’s Convention in 2014, and back in the 1970’s hosted a ‘Munchkins’ reunion at the former Point West.”  It is widely-believed that Baum found inspiration from the castle in Castle Park for the yellow brick road and even based some of the characters, including Dorothy, on people he encountered in Macatawa.

“We want this to be a community project and are embarking on a ‘buy a yellow brick’ campaign to help support it,” Laukitis said. Personalized engraved bricks will be available for purchase. A $100 donation will buy an engraved brick for placement on the yellow brick road in front of the “living book” in Centennial Park and also on the yellow brick road at the library.  For a $200 donation, a personalized engraved brick will be placed in front of your favorite Oz sculpture at the library. Additionally 5 benches with an engraved brass plaque will be available for a $2,500 per bench donation. The fundraising campaign is in collaboration with the City of Holland and will run from March 1 through May 1; all checks and payments should be made to the City of Holland, and mailed to the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 78 East 8th Street. Charitable gift envelopes are available at the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Tulip Time Festival office, City Hall, Holland Civic Center, Holland Board of Public Works, and Jonkers Gardens.

To learn more about the Oz Project, go to www.holland.org/holland-oz-project or call the Holland Area Visitors Bureau at 616.394.0000.