Grayscale Zastrow_HP Fest 3By Emma Campbell

Elm Staff Writer

Muggles and wizards alike will come together for a weekend full of magical games, shows, and activities.

Chestertown will host its annual HP Festival on Oct. 5 and 6. It is the fifth year that Chestertown will host this event.

The town map will transform to include places from the world of “Harry Potter.” The Garfield Center for the Arts will become Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Wilmer Park the Quidditch pitch, and the former train depot will turn into Platform nine -and-three-quarters.

“This event is a beast to put together, and we have done it since the beginning with a core group of five to seven volunteers. By the end of each year, we all are able to smile and know that we have brought something wonderful to our town that we love so much,” HP Festival president Tess Hogans said.

This weekend, festival attendees can expect to enjoy a variety of Potter-themed activities. Johns Hopkins University and Salisbury University students will compete for the Chestertown Quidditch Cup on Oct. 6, an exhibit of fan art will be displayed at the Kent County Public Library, and The Garfield Center for the Arts will host a “Through the Trapdoor” experience.

“Volunteers will help with our photo opportunity booths, costume contests, trivia contests, Friday night kick-off party, Saturday’s ‘Through the Trapdoor’ interactive activity, Scavenger Hunt, Potter in the Park activities including the Costume Contest, and Saturday night party at the Garfield. We are still looking for volunteers to fill lots of fun spots,” Festival Volunteer Coordinator Pam Duke said.

Since its founding, the HP Festival has attracted children and adults of all ages, wielding wands and sporting their Hogwarts house colors.

“The fans — oh, my goodness, the people who come to this are incredible. It’s amazing to see the whole town come together to showcase their creativity. I love seeing all of the costumes, watching the children mixing potions, seeing the Quidditch games and the incredible decorations all over downtown,” Hogans said.

The festival’s consistently large turnout indicates how much Harry’s world means to fans in and outside of Chestertown. Many involved with organizing the festival find the event rewarding.

“I’ll admit that these stories are more than stories for me. They have been a consistent source of humor, comfort and insight for the last 20 years of my life, through all levels of school, relationships, family deaths, births of my children, my marriage, and my career. The greatest joy has been reading the first book to my six-year-old daughter, and watching her love for the story begin,” Hogans said.

The Elm

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