2013-Present: Over the Rainbow
Since 2013, The Spirit of Oz has been growing leaps and bounds. In addition to festivals and fairs, the characters began appearing at private functions such as birthday parties, corporate events, and conferences, as well as public events hosted by libraries, schools, and non-profits. They also began offering special services like custom videos and phone calls from characters. Cast members began appearing in theatrical productions and other similar projects. The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion even made a cameo appearance as Scrooge's ghostly visitors in a large, annual production of A Christmas Carol. In 2015, The Spirit of Oz's cast headlined a full stage production The Wizard of Oz, which sold out its one-month run.
2014 brought the cast their first festival residency since the end of the Chesterton Festival when they were contracted by the fledgling Illinois Oz Festival in Mapleton. The festival has grown exponentially since adding the characters to their annual lineup. In fact, the festival saw so much growth after its first year with The Spirit of Oz that the park district had to have their walkthrough Oz garden relocated and more than doubled in size. In 2015, two first-year Oz Festivals followed suit in hiring The Spirit of Oz: A Day in Oz (now Wizard of Oz Days) in Clarksville (later New London, now Hannibal), Missouri, and The Midwest Wizard of Oz Festival in Tinley Park, Illinois. This year also saw the addition of a full-time live Toto for the first time. Another Oz festival hosted by Harvest Tyme Farm Park was added to the line up in 2019. A Chesterton Oz Festival "reunion" in the form of a second Wizard of Oz Days event is scheduled for the summer of 2020.
As of 2020, the characters make several appearances across the country throughout the year. The company has also branched into other Oz-related services such as costume rentals, event consultation, historical displays, and educational speaking engagements.
It's been a long journey down the Yellow Brick Road these last 15 years but we're not done yet! We invite you to join us as we continue our journey somewhere over the rainbow!