A Week That Was OZsome! - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

A Week That Was OZsome!

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:05 pm

It’s been said that it takes a “village” to raise a child and I’d like to add that it takes a “community” to make a Wizard of Oz Week! During an Arts Forum in 2011 community support emerged for an idea to highlight Coronado’s unique connection to Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum who wintered (and wrote three of his Oz books) in Coronado from 1904 until 1911. In addition to enchanting the world with his magical tales, Baum inspired several of Coronado’s monikers including the Enchanted Island and Emerald City and once remarked to a reporter that “if one does not consider Coronado to be paradise, one would likely render Heaven unpleasant”.

Fast forward to August, 2014 when the Cultural Arts Commission joined with a SD convention – Winkie Con (celebrating their 50th anniversary) - to present Oz Con International – a 10-day festival happening on both sides of the bridge and completely devoted to all things “Oz”. The Cultural Arts Commission brought together – for the first time – many of Coronado’s arts organization to plan the festival. Each offered their own unique events and Oz Con was a smash success resulting in many sold-out events and delightful fun for old and young.

Many people are responsible for creating Oz magic and I offer my profound thanks to each and every one who contributed to the success of the festival. Thank you to the City of Coronado, the Coronado City Manager and the City of Coronado Public Works Department for their support in organizing a City-wide festival. The City supported every aspect of the event from banners on Orange Avenue to allowing a special Saturday event in Spreckels Park. Thank you to local press especially the Coronado Eagle & Journal and their extensive coverage of all of the Oz events. Dean Eckenroth, Jr. created a unique commemorative insert which set the stage for the week-long event. Kris Grant of Coronado Lifestyles ran not one, but two consecutive issues celebrating all things Oz and to Jessica Nemeth of Coronado Connection for her efforts to get the word out! Thank you to the Library’s Christian Esquevin and Ellenjoy Weber for creating a magnificent exhibition of Oz memorabilia (running through August 31), an Oz-themed photo contest, children’s activities at the Celebrate Oz! festival and bringing an Oz puppet show to town. To Barron Henzel and Katy Skyrud for creating the Journey Through Oz musical cabaret at the Coronado Playhouse and for both having a booth and bringing Journey performers to Celebrate Oz! Tara Noonan (Director), Tony Perri (TV-Film Producer) and Ruben Monet Ludlow (Producer) for the CoSA Foundation’s Dance and TV-film Summer Intensives and the free finale performance Oz Alive!

Celebrate Oz! truly was a community partnership with Coronado MainStreet and their Executive Director Rita Sarich joining with the CAC to produce the day’s events. Thank you Ruth Ann Fisher and Del Coronado Realty for agreeing to sponsor the event because of their strong belief that there is No Place like Home. This community celebration in Spreckels Park was organized by volunteers Janet Francis (Event Chair), Tina Christiansen (Artists Coordinator), and Ruben Monet Ludlow (Entertainment Chair). Heartfelt thanks to our beloved Coronado Community Concert and Big Bands and their representatives Tom Leudtke and Phil Imming who developed and performed Oz-inspired musical programs. Also Baylie Rose Zimmerman, Diane Alexander, Tokeli Baker, and Rising Moment Entertainment who performed during the day; Bruce Linder for CHA’s Wizard of Oz Walking Tour; Colleen Smith for coordinating development of a special Oz musical piece representing Lamb’s Players Theater; Stacy Berman and her team from the Coronado Recreation Department for their magical Wizard of Oz summer camps and for activities and performances they provided at Celebrate Oz! including organizing the wonderful children’s parade with over 300 delightful munchkins in face paint, masks, costumes and huge smiles.

Thank you to the 28 local artists and authors who gathered in Spreckels Park under much needed umbrellas to exhibit and sell their work. Coronado is blessed to have such a talented community of artists and authors. Thank you Mary Beth Dodson, Jerry Greenspan and the Coronado Scribes for presenting Oz characters like we have never known before; to Doug St. Denis, the Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) and Lance Alspaugh from the Village Theater for bringing Oz to the big screen in 3-D during not one but two sold-out screenings of the re-mastered Wizard of Oz movie; and to the numerous volunteers who made it all happen during the week including: Mary Gilliland, Linda Smith, Donna Crossman, Sherril Altstadt, Anne Hemp, Kay Krohne, Gene Kemp, Betty Lepore, Marilyn Myers, Adrian Gonzalez, Cindy Wilson, Lori Boulanger, Patty Jepson, Adrienne McCullough and many, many more!

And who will ever forget Marty Brooks as Coronado’s best-ever Glinda the Good Witch, our own Arts Administrator, Kelly Purvis, for her delightful reincarnation of Dorothy; CAC Summer Intern Devon Bowman as the Cowardly Lion, Miss Coronado volunteers Susanna Wiggins as the Scarecrow and Katie Hearther and Courtney Cunningham as the Tinman and finally, last but certainly not least to our dear City Manager, Blair King who brought smiles to all as he led our parade on August 2 as the Mayor of Emerald City.

And to the wonderful citizens of and visitors to the Emerald City we give thanks for helping us bring the Wizard of Oz back to life and to Coronado. Without your support, encouragement and participation our efforts would have been for naught.

Truly Coronado is the Enchanted Island!

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1 comment:

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