Few places are as excited for a new Oz movie as Chittenango - but few places have a yellow brick road running through downtown. The village heavily promotes its identity as the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz. At the "All Things Oz" museum exhibits range from Baum's childhood right up through promotional materials for "Oz the Great and Powerful." Last night volunteers attended a private screening of the new movie
"It brings everything to the forefront. We're so proud here in Chittenango because we're the birthplace of L. Frank Baum. It all started here with the man that started this phenomenon," said Oz-Stravaganza co-director Colleen Zimmer.
Zimmer hopes all the attention the new movie is getting will bring extra fans to the village's annual festival this summer.
"It's a great boost to our festival because it makes everybody think about Oz," said Zimmer. "Watch the original movie - it just stirs it all up again."
When it comes to Dorothy, the Tin Man or the Wicked Witch of the West - Karen Johnson might have it. Her "Oz and Ends" shop has everything you could ever need from the Emerald City. Johnson hopes the new movie will inspire a new generation of fans to check out the original series of 14 oz books that Baum wrote.
"This man had an imagination that is unreal. his characters are just so different - you'll enjoy reading the rest of the books if you haven't," said Johnson.
Chittenango will be the center of the Oz universe from May 31st to June 2nd this year when more than 20,000 people are expected in the village for the annual Oz-Stravaganza weekend.