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Fairyland

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Bert Lewis Mahlmann Frank Oz

Bert, Lewis Mahlmann and Frank Oz at Fairyland.

Fairyland, sometimes known as Children's Fairyland, is a children's theme park in Oakland, California. Opening in 1950, the park features a motif based on fairytales and storybook characters, with an emphasis on live performance as much as on rides. This was initially dominated by actors playing various storybook characters, including Mother Goose, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. In 1956, the Storybook Theater was added, intended as a showcase for all manner of puppet shows, including marionettes, hand puppets, rod puppets, or a combination thereof. Mike and Frances Oznowicz, parents of Frank Oz, were key figures at the park, Frances as costumer and designer for the puppets and Mike presenting his own shows. Son Frank and Jerry Juhl also worked at the park and later joined the Oakland Vagabond Puppet Troupe, which performed at area schools, functions, and other parks as well as Fairyland.

In 1970, in honor of the park's 20th anniversary, Frank Oz paid a return visit, accompanied by Bert and Cookie Monster, as the culmination of "Happy Week." The Sesame Street Muppets appeared twice on Saturday and Sunday. Local newspapers also touted the fact that Frank Oz was one of the theme park's earliest patrons, attending on opening day at the age of five.

Fairyland remains open to this day, and still features daily puppet presentations.

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