Wizard of Oz’s Yellow Brick Road Being Recreated in Michigan Park

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It’s one of the most iconic roads in American pop culture: the yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz. Now, the colorful path is making the leap from page and screen to real life. Yellow bricks have been laid in Holland, Michigan as part of an outdoor exhibit paying tribute to the beloved L. Frank Baum novel.

According to WMMT, the bricks have been laid in Holland’s Centennial Park as part of the Holland Oz Project. The yellow brick road will take visitors to what the news outlet described as a “living mosaic book” constructed out of plans and flowers paying tribute to both the book and the 1939 film.

The outdoor Oz exhibit will also include life-sized bronze sculptures of the characters that Dorothy met in her journey through Oz, including munchkins, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and the various witches in the story. The sculptures are set to be installed in August and people can purchase bricks for the road for $100. Donors can have personalized bricks in front of the sculptures for $200 and there are also five benches available with engraved plaques available for $2500 each. Thus far, brick and bench donations have raised $36,000.

“The project is moving full steam ahead,” said Sally Laukitis, executive director of the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We have eight billboards throughout the state of Michigan, and one in Indiana. We’ve gotten really good feedback, obviously by the number of bricks we’ve sold.”

While Michigan might seem like an unusual location for the exhibit — Dorothy is famously the girl from Kansas, after all — Holland, Michigan has a significant tie to the Baum novel. It’s believed that Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while staying at his family cottage on Lake Macatawa nearby.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published on May 17, 1900 and follows the adventures of Dorothy and her pet dog Toto after they are swept from their Kansas home by a cyclone and dropped in the magical Land of Oz. One of the best-known stories in American literature, the book has been widely translated, adapted to a successful Broadway musical in 1902 and then to the iconic 1939 film. The success of the original Broadway musical prompted Baum to write 13 additional Oz books that make up the official sequels to the first book. The Wizard of Oz continues to be a popular story, so much so that plans for a new, television adaptation of the story was announced earlier this year.

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