Marion Public Library librarian Janet Marler is an avid fan of “The Wizard of Oz” and passes that knowledge onto her kids and grandchildren, but this year she is holding events at the library to share it with residents young and old in honor of the film’s 75th anniversary.
On Thursday, munchkin sized residents were invited to partake in a kids day of Oz activities planned and designed by Rachael Thurston. Activities included making a tornado in a bottle, pin the heart on the Tin Man, musical yellow brick road, crafts, cards, and a photobooth complete with an Oz backdrop.
Even the food centered around the land of Oz with elaborately decorated cupcakes, edible witches hats, over the rainbow Skittles, and munchkin mix all to inspire a good time.
“I had fun,” 8-year-old Trudy Hein said.
Even though the movie was released before Trudy’s mom was even a thought, Trudy said she knows the movie well and has even thrown an Oz themed party after first watching the film with her grandma.
“I have a collection of ‘Wizard of Oz’ stuff,” she said.
However, the apple does not fall far from the tree, as Trudy is Marler’s great-niece, and Marler has encouraged her love for all things Oz.
“I’ve always liked the film and collect Oz items,” Marler said. “I often have events at the library centered on themes, but it just so happens that this year falls on a theme I like so much.”
She said she doesn’t remember how she started liking the movie, but sometime within the last 20 years she did.
“I’ve shared the film with all my grandkids so they all know from early on what it’s about and watch it every year,” Marler said.
She hopes her grandchildren learn key lessons from the film, like home is where the heart is and friendship.
Marler said she is often surprised at how many people have not seen the film despite its strong Kansas connection.
The film was also shown Thursday night. On Friday children were asked to bring pillows for a special Wizard of Oz story time. The film and book will also be incorporated into the summer reading program with Wizard of Oz themed experiments, Marler said.