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Shucks, Folks! We're Speechless!

"I live in Bristol, England. The festival also promotes many good messages for people of all ages including love, family friendship, courage and intelligence. People travel from all over the world to attend Chesterton. I am greatly looking forward to experiencing an event so cherished by my American friends."
Yours Faithfully,
Miss Charlotte Wheadon

"I love to work in Chesterton. I have never met such a group of caring, inspired and downright good people. I love to come every year and to share with Garland and Oz fans alike, the collection; Judy Garland, The Dressing Of A Legend. I do many exhibits around the country every year, but Chesterton is my most favorite."
-Michael Siewert
"I talk to people every day that are Oz fans and they say the people in Chesterton are the best."
-Sandy Pugh
"Dear Oz Festival Committee,
Thank you for the gift certificate for 2nd place in the Wicked Witch contest! It was such fun--all those years I wanted to participate and for some reason just didn't do it. I was urged by my sister to do it this year -- and voila!
I am an Oz collector and use the money to add to my collection. You do such a wonderful job each year on the Oz Fest. I've been attending for the last 10 years, and each year it gets better. Thank you for all the work and good times you've provided me and my family. Keep following the yellow brick road!! :) "
Dee Wozniak

"The festival was great and a dream come true and Chesterton is such a nice town. I love it there. "
-Michael F. Lykins
"I have a real sense of hometown about Chesterton. This was my 12th festival and I have sort of adopted Chesterton as my own. I love Chesterton."
-Anthony Whitaker
"Hail Chesterton,
Well another year has gone by and I must again thank the Chesterton committee and folks for another great year. The weather crew even smiled on us. How wonderful! It is so nice coming to such a clean and great festival void of alcohol and loud music. A nice family event filled with little Dorothys, Scarecrows, Tin Men, Lions, Totos, Glindas and Wicked WitchesOh even a few Monkeys and Winkies. Young and old dressed up and having a great time. This town is truly blessed. I spend nearly a week in your little town every September and enjoy every minute of it. I gather with friends from across the country as we remise past festivals and great times We walk the streets looking for those treasures and good times. We stay up and chatter until the wee hours of the morning and visit with our Munchkin friends during the day. How thankful we are to this little town who brings it all together. Thank you to all the many volunteers and dedicated workers and shop owners who put in the countless hours to make this all happen!"
-Karen Owens

"The Munchkins all help to make this festival what it is, but it is the gallant effort of a little town named Chesterton and a committee that has made it work over the years. The efforts of the committee need to be commended. Thanks to all of the writers, artists, actors, Munchkins, vendors, crafters and workers is what needs to be done. It is great to have a small town like Chesterton still being remembered for its Yellow Brick Roads."
-Nick and Foo Travetto

"My husband, son and I have been coming from Jacksonville, FL to Chesterton for the festival for five years now. Our yearly vacation centers around this festival. The festival has brought a great source of joy and memories to us as well as thousands of other families. We have made many friends thereWe love the festival itself, the stores we shop in, the restaurants we eat in, visiting the Dunes and other local attractions."
Christine, Shawn and Tyler Jump

"I have to drive over eight hours to come and visit this family oriented festival. I would drive farther if I had to. This I might add, is one of the funniest festivals I have ever attendedThere are so many things I see positive with this festival I have met many friends that attend this and look forward to meeting many more friends. I went knowing not a soul, and by the time I came home, I had many friends. We wait throughout the year for this festival so we can meet again. I cherish this festival. It is something to look forward to because of the peopleYOU!! The Chesterton people are friendly, and welcome us with open arms. I have attended many festivals through the years and I haven’t yet seen one that is run so smoothly I have now started taking my family also to this festivalthis festival is ALIVE and we need something positive in our society. It has happy smiling people, who have this passion for the Wizard of OzThis family gathering of “OZ” nuts like we call ourselves, is overwhelming with laughter, smiles and sometimes even tears."
Thank You Very Much!
Pebbles Glenna

"This festival represents a story that is beloved and cherished around the world. It stands for values that are universally accepted. In these times, this is something the world desperately needs. This festival represents a story that has stirred the imaginations of young and old alike for many generations. "
 Lisa Katz

The following letter and associated newspaper article give us great pride!
To the Communitys of Chesterton, Porter, and Portage.

I would like to extend a very warm and heartfelt thank you for the wonderful
week that my family had spent in your community. No where else could our
daughter Samantha have been treated like a queen. We constantly heard from
strangers and new friends 'Samantha could have chosen any area in the world,
and yet she chose here?' Our family is glad she did !

Living in an area that is geared towards Tourism, and treating guests as
VIPs, I can honestly say that what we experienced this last week was truly
unique. The warmth and love that was shown for our daughter by everyone was
a sight that we will never forget.

The magic of the 'Wizard of Oz' has thoroughly left a mark on our familys
heart, and I hope that the magic that is 'Samantha' has left a mark on

With lots of love & appreciation
Paul, Claudette & Samantha Keyser
Make-A-Wish Foundation Sends Child to Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival

Samantha Keiser, 7 years old, of Lockland, Nevada, won’t have to click her heels three times to get her wish. But, she may click her ruby slippers anyway, because she will be attending Chesterton’s Wizard of Oz Festival Sept. 17-19.

Little Samantha, contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Nevada Chapter, to attend the Chesterton event and the Nevada Chapter contacted the Indiana Chapter, both of which are making the wish come true.

The Nevada chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation has already presented Samantha with a Dorothy Dress, Ruby Slippers and Toto in a basket.

Lakeshore Festival and Events, Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce and Munchkinland Market Days are providing all tickets to all events of the Festival and motel accommodations for Samantha and her parents.

Plans to accommodate Samantha are in place. She is invited to all the events, but will have her choice as to what she will attend. She will be invited to a special dinner with the Munchkins Thursday night and plans are for her to view the Saturday Oz parade from the reviewing stand.

According to Karen Spallina, president of Lakeshore Festival and Events, everything will be free for her and her family. The Chamber will be presenting her with a gift basket and Festival fans, who keep in touch via the Internet, have purchased gifts to give her.

“We are delighted they approached us and we are looking forward to treating her like a princess. We’re truly honored she chose us. Thinking of her, makes us put everything in perspective,” said Spallina.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation answers wishes of children, who have terminal illnesses.

Posted 9/8/2004 in the Chesterton Tribune

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