You’re invited … to the Emerald City

Wizard of Oz party at Dayton Art Institute

By Stacey Ritz
Photo: Dayton Art Institute’s Special Events Coordinator Julie Cannon will appear as Glinda the Good Witch for the Prime Time Party Rental Series “Wizard of Oz” Party on Friday, April 12
For one magical evening, the Shaw Gothic Cloister at the Dayton Art Institute will be transformed into the Emerald City from “The Wizard of Oz.” On Friday, April 12 from 7-11 p.m., guests are invited to come in costume – although costumes are not required – for the Second Annual Prime Time Rental Series party designed for adults. DAI Executive Director Michael R. Roediger explained, “The parties are the product of the think tank of Marketing and Events Director Alexis Larsen and Associate Director Jane Black who came up with the concept to attract new audiences at affordable prices to experience the museum through pop culture.” The Prime Time parties always connect the theme in some way to the museum’s permanent collection. Roediger continued, “We launched the parties last year and they have quickly grown in popularity. They promise to provide new and interactive ways for guests to enjoy the beautiful DAI.”

Who doesn’t love “The Wizard of Oz”? Come dressed as Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West, Toto, the Tin Man, Antie Em, the Scarecrow … so many lovable characters that time will not allow us to soon forget. “I love to see how guests dress up – it has been one of my favorite parts of the parties. People are really embracing the themes and having fun with it,” said Roediger. Associate Director, Jane Black explained: “We think of visiting the galleries as a great adventure – a magical place where you will encounter things you’ve never seen before. The party theme is a prompt for a related gallery hunt – it’s one of the fun parts of an exciting evening.” The night of the party, countless appetizers and a themed cash bar will be available. And of course there will be great music, plenty of dancing, a tour of the galleries and many surprises throughout the evening. Heidelberg Distributing Company will be sampling new products starting with Bud Light Lima-A-Rita and Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita, and don’t forget the beautiful jewelry from James Free Jewelers – valued at $1,000 – which will be auctioned during the event.

“We are only in our second year of throwing Prime Time parties,” said Black, “but they have taken off like wildfire. Each (party) has been new and different, but they all have that pop culture center … everybody cuts loose a little and has some fun.” Black promised that she will be wearing her ruby slippers the night of the event, of course.

During past Prime Time party events there have been many surprise moments, such as the Olympics kickoff party when a former Olympic torch carrier showed up with his torch. “The community support has been tremendous – Ross Motors really participated by bringing people and great vehicles to every event. Prime Time Party Rentals makes each party so special with unique products and a wonderful atmosphere. Last year’s Bond Party was awesome thanks to the magnificent Bond Lounge,” said Roediger.

If you would like to journey “somewhere over the rainbow” and celebrate the classic movie, “The Wizard of Oz” with wonderful company, mark your calendars now. You don’t want to miss the Shaw Gothic Cloister being transformed into the beautiful Emerald City and who doesn’t like an evening out with entertainment, food and drinks? Start your planning now. Who will you come dressed as for a night of entertainment and laughs? Perhaps you’ll dress as The Great and Powerful Oz? Or maybe you prefer to come in costume as Glinda the Good Witch? Whoever you choose to jump into costume as, be sure to wear your dancing shoes – perhaps they’ll be ruby red slippers? If you’re lucky enough to call Dayton “home,” you’ll be sure to be clicking your heels together the night of the party. DAI’s Prime Time party  “The Wizard of Oz” is sure to bring a night of endless fun. Roediger said, “We promise to provide new and interactive ways for guests to enjoy the beautiful DAI.” Black added, “You will encounter things you’ve never seen before.”

As L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” explained, “Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on Earth the more experience you are sure to get.” So come out and experience a night of fun right in the heart of Dayton. There’s no need to travel far for an experience you won’t soon forget. To everyone who calls Dayton home, you just need to remember one thing, “there’s no place like home” and that statement is sure to ring true whether or not you are wearing your ruby slippers the night of the party.

Prime Time Party Rental Series presents the “Wizard of Oz” party on Friday, April 12 at the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North. For ticket information call 937.223.4ART or visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Stacey Ritz at

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