Autumn at Oz



Article Published: Sep. 22, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 30, 2011
Autumn at Oz

Autumn at Oz returns to Beech Mountain Oct. 1 and 2.

Photo by Sam Calhoun



There’s no place like Beech Mountain. There’s no place like Beech Mountain.

But you can’t click your ruby red shoes to get to the annual “Autumn at Oz” celebration. You have to drive.

The 18th annual celebration is more than a Technicolor dream, bringing beloved characters like Dorothy Gale, the Tinman and the Wicked Witch of the West to life for one weekend.

For some, Oz is a whirlwind of nostalgia. For others, it’s a cherished tradition. It’s the place where troubles really do “melt like lemon drops” and “happy little bluebirds fly” and Oct. 1 and 2, that place where “dreams really do come true” is so real you can actually touch the Yellow Brick Road.
Last year’s event was limited to 7,000 patrons.

“We will be limiting tickets again,” event creator and Oz enthusiast Cindy Kellar said.

Patrons will have an opportunity to not only meet their favorite characters, but to explore a world that’s typically closed to the public.

The Land of Oz, created 40 years ago by the same Robbins family that turned Tweetsie Railroad into an entertainment tradition, was an actual theme park until it closed in 1980. Yellow bricks still shimmer through the grass, and you can still see the pillars where the Tinman’s house used to be.

Dorothy’s house is still there, as are several other gems of a park that touched the memories and minds of the High Country and beyond.

“This is the only time it’s open to the public,” Kellar said.

So what is it about Oz that keeps us returning to the Yellow Brick Road, year after year for 18 years? In a word: Imagination.

“It’s the old film,” Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce’s John Troxler said. “It really does capture the imagination. … Autumn at Oz is definitely Beech Mountain’s biggest event.”

Tickets to Oz are $16.50 in advance and $20 the day of the event. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Tour sessions are Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 12, 12 to 2 and 2 to 4, but that doesn’t mean you can only spend two hours at Oz. The session indicates your specified loading hours for your bus or hayride to Oz. Oz is not handicap accessible. Attendees are encouraged to wear Oz attire and bring photos, stories and memories.

Autumn at Oz is located at 2669 Beech Mountain Parkway in Beech Mountain.

For more information, call the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce at (800) 468-5506 or visit http://www.autumnatoz.com.

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