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Get Out of Kansas For a While, Autumn at Oz Provides Fun for the Entire Family Oct. 6-7; Tickets Selling Fast

The Yellow Brick Road. Photo by Amy Morrison

Oct. 3, 2012. Enjoy a nostalgic stroll down the Yellow Brick Road this fall during Beech Mountain’s 19th annual Autumn at Oz weekend. The event takes place Oct. 6-7 and celebrates the old Land of Oz theme park, which operated from 1970 to 1980 high atop Beech Mountain.

The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce is proud to present an Autumn at Oz for 2012 that is now larger than ever. This is a perfect time to experience the mountains at the pinnacle of autumn’s fall colors due to the early seasonal change this year. The weather is forecasted to be a balmy 66 degrees and partly sunny.

Autumn at Oz has grown from a one-day reunion of park employees to two days of fun that attract thousands from near and far.

Spend the day, or spend the weekend and enjoy all Autumn at Oz has to offer. Also featured is “The Village” located in the Resort of Ski Beech.

Attendees ride the ski chairlift or take a motor coach to the mountaintop to meet Dorothy, visit a small Oz museum, tour Dorothy’s House, and experience a one-of-a-kind stroll on a yellow brick road comprised of 44,000 bricks, meeting Oz characters along the road.

“You can take a bus ride or a scenic lift ride to the top of the mountain to tour Dorothy’s house,” said Talia Freeman, marketing director. “It’s an exact replica of Dorothy’s house from the novel.”

Along the way there are visits with the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Professor Marvel, Glinda the Good Witch, Auntie Em, Uncle Henry and the Great & Powerful Wizard.

“The elevation at the top of the mountain provides a setting unlike any other. We have huge boulders, ancient trees, and giant ferns. It really is an enchanted forest,” said Event Coordinator Cindy Keller. “Each year, we probably see a thousand little Dorothys. They come in all sizes and shapes. It’s pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on your face.”

The festivities also include live music, games, food vendors and crafts vendors, a petting zoo and face painting. Many of these activities, along with parking, will be available this year at Beech Mountain Resort, which will serve as base camp for Autumn at Oz.

Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Oz character. Last year about 7,000 attended the festival, Freeman said, and many were dressed in the Oz spirit.

“A lot of them are Oz fanatics,” Freeman said. “You’ll also see little kids dressed up as the characters.”

Tickets are selling fast online for 2012 at autumnatoz.com for $20 in advance to guarantee an entry time into Oz or you can take your chances and pay $25 at the gate. Several sessions are already sold out. This year a special limited VIP ticket for $40 online was added that offers special amenities such as VIP parking, reception area, no line entrance to the Resort and, if you come on Saturday, have an extra day free in “The Village” enjoying the food and entertainment. Group rates are offered for Sunday only at $15 per person with groups of 15 or more by calling 1-800-488-5506.

Theme park entrance times are also expanded for 2012. The purchase of your ticket designates the time that you will be transported to the Land of Oz. The park opens at 9:30 a.m. and tickets are available for entrance to the Land of Oz every hour on the half hour until 4:30 p.m.