Judy Garland Festival 2024
Dates TBD, stay tuned.
David Fantle, mostly in collaboration with Tom Johnson, has been interviewing, writing and speaking about Hollywood's Golden Age stars for 40 years where their work has appeared in media outlets throughout the world. Fantle’s career also includes more than three decades working as an award-winning marketing and public relations professional, including a tenure as Deputy Tourism Secretary for Wisconsin. He resides in Milwaukee, Wis. and is an adjunct professor in film at Marquette University.
Tom Johnson began his collaboration with David Fantle in 1978 as a student journalist at the University of Minnesota by co-writing an award-winning arts and entertainment column for the “Minnesota Daily” called “Entertainment Ltd.” Johnson was a senior editor at Netflix and has written movie reviews and features for E! Online, Moviefone and People magazine, among other publications. Johnson's entertainment writing has been recognized with a Minnesota Newspaper Association achievement award and a National Hearst Foundation award for news writing.
John Fricke is a respected pop culture historian of film and stage musicals and their creative participants. More specifically, he is widely regarded as the world's preeminent Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland author, authority, and lecturer. As a Preeminent Garland historian, best-selling author, Emmy Award-winning documentarian, and Grammy Award-nominated journalist JOHN FRICKE returns to Grand Rapids to emcee our 2023 festival weekend; John will be on-site at the festival from Thursday through Sunday morning breakfast. He will present on Friday June 9th. He is an avid museum cheerleader and always makes time to talk about Judy Garland to those he meets! You won't want to miss you chance to meet John Fricke!
Celebrate Judy Garland With Open Mic Night
What better way to celebrate Judy Garland, up on stage for Open Mic Night. A great place for everyone to participate in good music, food, and beverages. You never know who will get up on that stage and sing their hearts out! We like to keep it open, but if you want to get on a list, sign up here!
Paul and Joan Herrick
Wizard of Oz Festival 2018
A cast of adults and children took the audience back to the time the Gumm family (Judy Garland's family) lived in the little white house in Grand Rapids. The songs they sang and stories about what happened while they lived here.
Embark on the unique items related to Judy Garland that have never been seen by the public. During the last twenty-three years, the Judy Garland Museum has received some lovely and unusual items related to Judy and her family history. Hear the stories behind them, as only museum director John Kelsch can tell.
Wizard of Oz Festival 2017
Perfect for the whole family! Historian/documentarian John Fricke entertains with behind-the-scenes stories and video about the making of The Wizard of Oz. Learn how some of the special effects were accomplished–decades before the existence of computer imaging! Hear about the bloopers that crept into the finished film, so that you can watch for them in Friday night’s free screening.
John Fricke is regarded as the preeminent Judy Garland and MGM Wizard of Oz historian and has written seven books on these topics. He’s the recipient of Emmy Awards as co-producer of the PBS American Masters and A&E Biography Garland documentaries, and a Grammy Award nominee for his liner notes on the Capitol CD, Judy Garland: 25th Anniversary Retrospective. John has appeared as a programmer and co-host on the Turner Classic Movies network and at their Los Angeles Film Festival. In addition, he’s been interviewed on The Today Show, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, The Joan Rivers Show, National Public Radio, and Sirius Satellite Radio, and has become a regular at the Judy Garland/Wizard of Oz Festival. We are happy to welcome him back this year.
The Wizard of OZ Festival of 2014
The Wizard of OZ Festival of 2014 corralled in 1,093 people dressed in their best Wizard of Oz costumes and gave them the claim to the Guinness World Record