News @ Noon: Grand Rapids To Celebrate 75th Anniversary Of ‘Wizard Of Oz’ [AUDIO]
GRAND RAPIDS - This year marks the 75th anniversary of the release of the movie "The Wizard Of Oz", and the people of Grand Rapids are planning to celebrate in a big way.
Judy Garland Museum spokesman John Kelsch says they're hoping to break a world record for the most fully costumed Wizard Of Oz characters in one place.
The current record is 446.
Kelsch says the celebration starts next Tuesday.
Kelsch says every year the festival draws people from all over the world up to Grand Rapids.
Judy Garland was born Francis Gumm in 1922. She only lived in Grand Rapids until she was about four or five years old, and then her family moved to Los Angeles.
The home she and her family lived in has been restored to the same condition it was in when the Gumm family lived there in the early 1920s.
Kelsch says Judy Garland is "an immortal part of American history, because of the Wizard Of Oz".
He says Garland returned to Grand Rapids in 1938, just prior to the release of the Wizard Of Oz, to a huge welcome by the town residents. She also sang at the Minnesota State Fair in 1958. Her son says she also brought him to Grand Rapids when he was young, but she came in disguise so she wouldn't be recognized.
The 39th Wizard Of Oz Festival is next week, starting on Tuesday, June 10th and running through Sunday, June 15th.