Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Holland’s New Wizard of Oz Exhibit
Author L. Frank Baum spent summers in Holland’s Macatawa Park near Lake Michigan. The well-known author is said to have been inspired to write his best known work, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, while in Holland. A new outdoor exhibit at Centennial Park in downtown Holland honors the author’s work, and features sculptures, flowers, a yellow brick road, and more. Further information about this project and its history can be found at https://hollandozproject.com.
The first addition to the project was a 10 foot by 12 foot “floral living mosaic book.” The plants used in this book as well as the nearby gardens will continue to grow throughout the summer, so each time you visit it will look a little different. This new addition to a park best known for its annual displays of tulips seemed to already be catching the eyes of locals and visitors, as we saw close to 20 people stop to snap photos on their camera in the short time we were there. During winter months, this part of the exhibit is stored inside the city’s greenhouse.
The yellow brick road is also already in place. This path leads past the floral mosaic book, and continues across the S. River Ave./W. 12th St. intersection at the Herrick District Library (https://herrickdl.org/). In the coming months, the bricks on the yellow brick road will be replaced with ones featuring the names of those who have donated to help make this project possible. To find out more about purchasing a brick, visit https://hollandozproject.com/purchase-a-brick/.
In August and September of 2019, six bronze sculptures of characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz were added alongside the yellow brick road that runs by the north side of the library building. The statues were designed by Brodin Studios in Kimball, Minnesota and depict Dorothy and Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, a Munchkin, and a tree with a flying monkey. Their design was based on the work of W. W. Denslow, who was the illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Take a look at some pictures of this great exhibit below, and be sure to stop by the next time you visit downtown Holland.