By Murrel Bland

Wyandotte County will become the “Summer of Oz” the first week in August.

That was the announcement that Bridgette Jobe made during the annual tourism celebration of the Convention and Tourism Bureau Wednesday, May 2 at Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Kansas.

Jobe, who is Executive Director of the Kansas City, Kansas, Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, announced that the Theater League, based in Kansas City, Mo., will produce The Wizard of Oz show from Wednesday, Aug. 1 through Sunday, Aug. 5 at Providence Amphitheater in Wyandotte County Park, Bonner Springs. Individual tickets will start at $20 each for adults. Four-pack lawn seats will be $40. For more information, telephone 816-559-3848. During these days, the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame will offer tours of the Farm Town USA. Farm Town is next door to Providence Amphitheater. Visit for more information.

Jobe noted that Memorial Hall has been thoroughly renovated. She said the original building was built in 1923 as a memorial to those who lost their lives during World War I. The cost for the building and the land was $543,476.

Jobe said Memorial Hall was the host to several popular musical performers during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970. They included Chuck Berry, Ted Nugent, Johnny Cash, the Jefferson Airplane and Patsy Cline. Kline died right after her concert at Memorial Hall in 1963 in an airplane crash.

The Convention and Visitors’ Bureau also announced various annual awards. Selena Corpuz, the senior manager, Sporting Club Events at Sporting Kansas City, received the Excellence in Hospitality Award. She was recognized for her professionalism and exceptional customer service.

The Tourism Event of the Year went to Midwest Sport Production’s USSSA Elite Select World Fast Pitch. The event was held July 10-16 last year at the T-Bones Stadium and was responsible for more than 7,000 hotel room nights.

Slap’s Barbecue was named the Tourism Organization of the Year. Brothers Mike and Joe Pearce accepted the award.

Greg Jackson received the Tourism Advocate of the Year award. He is the former general manager of Dave and Buster’s at Legends Outlet.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.