Michigan has its fair share of festivals, from the annual Macaroni and Cheese Festival in Kalamazoo to the upcoming Zehnder's Snowfest and Arts, Beats, and Eats - Michiganders love festivals.

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Festivals that focus on music, food, and booze tend to be the most popular for obvious reasons. Of course, there are other festivals in the Great Lakes State that focus on more than the above, and I just found out about one such festival. Did you know that Michigan has a Wizard of Oz Festival? Forget Kansas, there is no place the Wizard of Oz Festival in Ionia, Michigan.

This annual festival did not happen last year due to the coronavirus, and dates for 2022 have not yet been determined at this time. However, I did reach out to the Ionia Downtown Development Authority and was told the event will most likely happen in the fall of this year. The nice woman I spoke to on the phone told me to call back on February 1st and hopefully, she will have an exact date then.

You may be wondering what exactly happens at the Wizard of Oz Festival? I have the answer. The festival begins with a showing of the Wizard of Oz at the historic Ionia Theatre and is usually priced at only 25 cents per ticket. Additional events and attractions include the following,

  • A variety of Wizard of Oz related contests
  • Baking competitions
  • Musical entertainment
  • Soap Box Derby-style races
  • Vendors featuring a great assortment of arts and crafts, shabby chic treasures, and antiques

Patrons of course are encouraged to dress as their favorite Wizard of Oz characters. Start looking for your ruby slippers now - I will update you when the exact date is set.

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