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'Wizard of Oz' comes to life in western Michigan park

Posted: 11:15 AM, Jun 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-11 11:15:31-04
'Wizard of Oz' comes to life in western Michigan park
HOLLAND, Mich. —

Families in western Michigan can follow the yellow brick road as a project brings "The Wizard of Oz" to a Holland park.

Yellow bricks have been laid in Centennial Park as part of the Holland Oz Project. It'll direct visitors to a living mosaic book that's been constructed out of plants and flowers in a tribute to the L. Frank Baum novel and classic 1939 film, the Holland Sentinel reported.

The outdoor exhibit will also include life-sized bronze sculptures of characters that Kansas girl Dorothy met along her journey through the whimsical world of Oz. Many believe that Baum wrote the magical characters that included witches, munchkins and friends Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion while staying at his family's Lake Macatawa cottage nearby.

The sculptures will be installed by Herrick District Library in August.

The library collaborated with the city, the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Holland in Bloom to bring the project to life. The project's main source of funding comes from the visitors bureau and donations to have personalized bricks placed along the park's yellow brick road.

The bricks are available for purchase for $100, and donors can have their personalized bricks placed in front of the bronze sculptures for $200. The project is also offering five benches with engraved plaques, which will go for $2,500 each.

The brick and bench donations have totaled $36,000 so far.

"The project is moving full steam ahead," said Sally Laukitis, executive director of the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We have eight billboards throughout the state of Michigan, and one in Indiana. We've gotten really good feedback, obviously by the number of bricks we've sold."

Laukitis said donors from California, Texas, Ireland and the Netherlands have bought bricks.

"It's not just a local effort," Laukitis said. "There is a lot of interest."