Chesterton Tribune

Lost Wizard Oz Festival lives on in Midwest Living profile of Chesterton

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Voice of the People

I just received my June 2007 copy of Midwest Living, which features “The Top 100 Towns to Visit.” It states, “Our editors have spent 20 years exploring the Midwest’s 8,500 small towns. After countless trips and staff discussions, we rank the top 100 places to spend a weekend.”

I started to read the article, and some of the towns on the list were expected: Mackinac Island, Mich.; Shipshewana, Ind.; Galena, Ill.; and Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Imagine my surprise to see that #41 is Chesterton, Indiana!

The write-up says, “Near Indiana Dunes and home of a huge Wizard of Oz festival.” We should all be proud of our town. As we know, it is a great place to live and … wait a minute … “Home of a huge Wizard of Oz festival”? What? We don’t have a Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton - anymore. The leaders of our wonderful town allowed it to be moved to Valparaiso - to the Expo Center no less. No parade, no outdoor festival, no mingling in the streets of Chesterton. Isn’t it ironic that one of the two things that put us on the list no longer exists here? I’m thankful that the Dunes are so large - they can’t be moved.

Lisa Smith,



Posed 6/5/2007