The Chestertown Harry Potter Festival Returns!
Sep 09, 2016 11:32AM
● By Cate Reynolds
Courtesy of the Harry Potter Festival Committee
Magical Weekend benefits Garfield Center for the Arts and Mid-Shore Community Foundation (MSCF)’s Fund for Kent County
CHESTERTOWN, MD – Wizards and muggles will celebrate the spirit and excitement of the Harry Potter fandom in this colonial river town for the third consecutive Chestertown Harry Potter Festival – a fun-filled weekend on September 30 – October 2 with free and ticketed events to benefit the Garfield Center for the Arts and the Kent County Fund through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. The festival invites fans of all ages to convene and enjoy the town’s local arts and activities. Warner Bros. Entertainment and J.K. Rowling are not associated with or responsible for the festival in any way, and the inspired group of fans who created it hope they won’t be sent to Azkaban for expressing their enthusiasm!
The weekend’s events take flight on Friday September 30 with a talk by Dr. Patrick McCauley, author of Into the Pensieve: The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter at Chestertown’s “Flourish and Blotts” (The Bookplate, 112 S. Cross Street) from 4:30-5:30pm. Wands, robes and your house colors are ideal attire for the Festival Kick-Off Party at “Hogwarts” (the Garfield Center for the Arts at 210 High Street) from 6:00-9:00 pm. Fans of all ages can enjoy magic, trivia, wizard rock and costumed fun with a $5 fee at the door for adults; no cost for children 12 and under!
You’ll need your broom on Saturday to cover the activities in locations inspired by the award-winning books by J.K. Rowling: a self-guided Scavenger Hunt from 9am – 3pm in downtown Chestertown’s shops transformed into magical-themed retailers, Potions Class, costume contest, and street theatre. Wizard crafts and licensed merchandise will be available throughout the day. From 10am – 4pm, Potter in the Park will feature free activities in central Fountain Park for muggles of all ages, including dueling, face painting, magic, wizard rock music, crafts, photo opportunities as well as themed food and vendors. The annual Costume Contest is open to those who register and draws a big crowd from 3-3:45pm.
The DC Quidditch Club will host a tournament with college and club teams from the region competing for the prized Chestertown Quidditch Cup on Saturday and Sunday in Wilmer Park, on the waterfront. Players of all ages and skills can join Kidditch on Saturday from 9am – 12pm to learn the game from experienced Quidditch players.
Ticketed events have been a highlight of the weekend that require an advanced purchase online, with limited space – so plan ahead. Tickets will officially go on sale September 1st, 2016 (“Start of Term”!) when a link will be available on the website and Facebook page.
The Hogwarts Experience at The Garfield for wizards (ages 8-13 only) from 10:30am – 12pm and 4-5:30pm has been a sell-out event where students meet the sorting hat and take lessons from wizardry professors. Tickets are advance purchase only, $35 per person.
New this year: Madam Malkin’s High Tea, a magical event with delectable confections for Potter fans of all ages, catered at the Occasions Boardroom, 327 Cannon Street from 10:30am-12pm and 4-5:30pm! A souvenir festival teacup & saucer, costume corner plus edible wands, canary creams, cauldron cakes, pasties, bludgers, and a tasty golden snitch will require a $35 advance ticket per person.
Back by popular demand is the annual pub event, with an all new venue: House Party at the Hogshead (age 21+) at The Fish Whistle, 98 Cannon Street from 6:30-9:30pm with themed food and drinks, wizard rock dance party, trivia contest, and time to show your house colors. Advance purchase tickets are $35 each.
Nearly Headless Nick’s 524th Deathday Party will be celebrated at Garfield Center for the Arts, from 7:30-9:30pm Saturday for wizards under 21. Dancing, Harry Potter trivia, and more. Make sure to come and “Pin-The-Head-On-Nearly-Headless-Nick”! Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for sale. Tickets will be $10, available at the door.
Sunday’s final event is a 5K Race with Washington College’s Alpha Omicron Pi at 11am at Wilmer Park. The Golden Snitch will be awarded to the best Harry Potter costumed participant. Runners and walkers can select their Hogwarts house (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin) and enjoy refreshments including Weasley Wizard snacks and Butterbeer (soda) after the race. Register online http://www.trisportsevents.com or 10am on site.
For festival updates and details, accommodation recommendations, and directions visit www.chestertownhpfest.org or the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival on Facebook.
The Chestertown Harry Potter Festival is organized by an all-volunteer committee of loyal Potter fans to celebrate the spirit of Harry Potter and promote the local community and its arts.
Located in the historic district in Chestertown, The Garfield Center for the Arts (www.garfieldcenter.org) is a cultural organization whose mission is to nurture, celebrate, and support arts and artists through performance and education.
The Mid-Shore Community Foundation (www.mscf.org) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that supports nonprofit organizations and charitable efforts that enhance the quality of life for residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, Maryland. The Fund for Kent County is MSCF’s permanent source of discretionary grant funding for Kent County initiatives.