By Lydia Lion
Elm Staff Writer
On Sept. 26-27, Harry Potter is taking over Chestertown. The Harry Potter Festival will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Friday the 26th, and continue until 9 p.m. on Saturday the 27th. There is much planned for the weekend, encompassing all aspects of the Harry Potter series. Events include scavenger hunts, face painting, games of Quidditch, and an academic lecture.
Chestertown residents got a taste of the Potter life last Saturday when the Chestertown Book Festival had a Harry Potter read-a-thon in the Kent County Public Library. Administrative Assistant of the Rose O’Neil Literary House and Chair of the Chestertown Book Festival (CBF) Owen Bailey said, “With this being the first year for the Harry Potter Festival, CBF teamed up with them to create two events, one being the Harry Potter Read-a-thon.” When asked what the main goal of the event was, he said, “The Chestertown Book Festival celebrates the literary life on the Eastern Shore by bringing to town a selection of local and regional writers, poets, playwrights, printmakers, and book designers.”
On Friday at 4:30 p.m. the Chair of the History Department at Washington College Professor Janet Sorrentino will be discussing Harry Potter Academia at The Bookplate, located at 112 S. Cross Street, known as Flourish and Blotts for the event. During the talk, “Herbology [sic], alchemy, and secret societies will be explored in an academic discussion of the Harry Potter series and its relationship to the Renaissance period,” said Annie Powers, content writer for the event.
That evening from 6 to 9 p.m. there will be a free Festival Kick Off party at the Garfield Center for the Arts. The following day, there will be informal Quidditch matches from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the 300 block of South Cross Street in the field across from the old train on Quaker Neck Road. Throughout the entire event, the downtown shops and Fountain Park vendors will be offering Harry Potter merchandise and food.
For students who are 21 years or older, there will be a House Party at the Leaky Caldron, otherwise known as JR’s Past Time Pub. There will be a performance by the wizarding band the Blibbering Humdingers as well as drinks, prizes, and Harry Potter trivia. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the JR’s Past Time Pub website.
All funds raised from The Harry Potter Festival benefit the Garfield Center for the Arts, which is “a cultural organization that nurtures, celebrates and supports arts and artists through performance and education,” according to the Harry Potter Chestertown Festival Website. Any students interested in volunteering should visit the event website.
Many WC students are looking forward to attending the event. “I am so excited for the Harry Potter festival,” said freshman Amanda Eichler. “I didn’t hear about it until recently, and being a huge Harry Potter fan, I am looking forward to attending.”
With events ranging from literary discussions to Quidditch matches, there is sure to be something for everyone at the festival, whether you are looking to immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter or just observe. Visit downtown Chestertown for the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter.
Additional reporting by Elijah McGuire-Berk.