An annual Wizard of Oz festival in Chesterton, Ind., that once attracted 75,000 fans of the classic film to see the actors who played Munchkins has been canceled, its organizers announced Friday.
Brenda Maynard, president of the Indiana Wizard of Oz Festival, said the low turnout at September's event caused by heavy rains and flooding was part of the decision to end the festival after 27 years.
"When you add to that the tough economy everyone is up against right now, as well as the advancing age of our Munchkin guests, who are one of the primary reasons this festival is so beloved, we had to make a decision that it's time to retire the festival," Maynard said.
At this year's festival, only three Munchkins from the 1939 film were still alive and well enough to attend. As many as 15 actors who played Munchkins attended the festival during its peak years.