The little candy dispensers many remember from their childhood still garner interest today. Enough interest that ‘PEZamania‘ attracts hundreds of collectors from around the world. In years past, organizers say, PEZ enthusiasts have come from as far away as Australia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, and Japan.
The PEZ convention first took place in 1991 in Mentor, Ohio. According to the event’s website, back then it was called “The First Annual Dispens-O-Rama.“
The annual event is a gathering of “collectors, dealers, casual sellers, and anybody else interested in collecting PEZ and other related items.” And while most activities at PEZamania require registration, there is a free public show on Saturday, July 22 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
“At the show, we have nearly 50 dealers and 90 tables with PEZ items for sale ranging from a few cents to several thousand dollars, said Co-Host Morgan Rhinehart. “This is a great event for families, collectors, and non-collectors who might be interested in seeing more PEZ in one place than anywhere else in the world.”
Also, money raised from the event will help benefit the Gliding Stars of Toledo, an adaptive ice skating program that provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to increase their personal potential through the development of ice skating skills.
According to the PEZ candy website, the candy was first invented in Austria as an alternative to smoking in the 1920s. The candy then came to the U.S. in the early 1950s.
You can find more information about PEZamania, here.