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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Join the Harry Potter Bandwagon!

For many Harry Potter fans, today could not arrive soon enough. They were anxiously awaiting the book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so that they can finally read about the boy wizard's fate. Well, I haven't read it yet, so no spoilers allowed!

I am just so completely amazed at all the articles in the news about Harry Potter release parties and I am very happy to see how many of the parties and gatherings include Harry Potter costumes. Both kids and adults can participate in Harry Potter look alike contests, Harry Potter costume contests and parades. Many of the festivities around the country start late on Friday night, leading up to the midnight release deadline.

Here's whats been happening with the Harry Potter Craze Around the Country:

Barnes and Noble Booksellers nationwide will be participating in the world's largest Harry Potter Costume Party in honor of the final book in this remarkable series.


The KansasCity.com website article headline reads: "Celebrate Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with a parade, movie screening and parties everywhere"

With so many crucial questions to be answered in the seventh and final installment, booksellers don’t dare let a copy slip out before the 12:01 a.m. release early Saturday.

As in previous years, to keep folks distracted until they can get their hands on [the new book], local bookstores and libraries will host Potter parties through midnight Friday. Among them:

•Kansas City Public Library’s Harry Potter Extravaganza: No seats remained as early as July 15th for the Plaza branch library’s transformation into Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But you could still watch the marchers from Reading Reptile bookstore and the library lead a candlelight vigil and death march around 11 p.m. in honor of Harry, including a jazz dirge band, funereal litter and Death Eaters. Do they know something we don’t?

•Rainy Day Books’ Harry Potter Party: The party kicks off at 8:30 p.m. with a presentation by the Kansas City Wizards (how appropriate) at Legends 14 Theatres in Kansas City, Kan. The latest Potter flick, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” plays at 9 p.m., followed by a prize giveaway, ice cream and the book’s release.

•Barnes & Noble’s Midnight Magic Costume Party: Show up in your finest magical threads for a costume party including prizes, Potter merchandise, craft stations and, eventually, the book.

•Borders’ Grand Hallows Ball: Among the events, beginning at 7 p.m., are a Great Snape Debate, costume contest, Harry Potter Spelling Bee, Potter Prize Patrol and awards for king and queen of the ball.


The Mining Journal Online reports: There was a Harry Potter costume contest on Friday as part of the “Celebrate Harry!” Downtown Marquette Harry Potter Festival. The contest is open to all ages. The seven costume categories will be Harry, Hermione, Ron, Magical Creatures, Villains, Students, and Hogwarts Inhabitants to include professors, ghosts, et cetera. At 7:15 p.m. participants will join the Grand Wizard March from the Commons to the Masonic Center on Washington Street, for judging and awarding of prizes.


The SeattleTimes.com talks about their local "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" book-release events. Bring wands, lightning bolts and maybe a few tears to celebrate the release of the seventh and final book in the "Harry Potter" series. Local libraries will kick off with events through next week, culminating with bashes Friday night. The book will be sold starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Then they go on to list their local events starting last Wednesday all the way up to midnight on Friday night!


The Salt Lake Tribune headlines: "Penchant for Potter parties? Take your pick". The release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows will be celebrated by libraries and bookstores with parties and contests all around Salt Lake City. Events included:

Muggles Chess Tournament for children 5-16

•Fun events at their Main Library include: earth-bound Quidditch; classes on herbology, potions, defense against the dark arts, charms and the history of magic; face-painting; fortune tellers; wand-decorating; fantasy writing workshops; and an astronomy class taught by the University of Utah's Astronomical Society.

•At their local Hastings Bookstore Magician Christopher Fair will perform and there will be a Golden Snitch hunt, costume contests for adults and children, wand-making, refreshments and prizes.

•At the University of Utah Bookstore People will be sorted into different houses as they arrive. Other activities will include wand-making, a Diagon Alley replica, Harry Potter video games, trivia contests, indoor Quidditch, face-painting and a coloring contest.

•Activities at another Salk Lake City Bookshop, The King's English Bookshop, include the Sorting Hat, wand-making, face-painting, fortune-telling, magic shows and snacks at the Leaky Cauldron.


The Herald-Mail.com website reads: "Washington County Free Library is hosting a late-night party Friday to celebrate the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final book in the best-selling series. Come dressed as your favorite Harry Potter character and enter the costume contest. The evening kicks off at 8:30 p.m. with a showing of the film "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Pizza and other treats will be served during the movie. A party after the movie will include a Harry Potter trivia contest, costume contest, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean-tasting contest and more. At the stroke of midnight, the library will give away 10 copies of the new book as contest prizes, delivering copies that were prepaid, and begin a dramatic first chapter read-aloud from the newest book.


The San Fransisco Cronicle's online website: SFGate.com lists so many Harry Potter festivities, parties, costume contests, trivia contests, games, dinners, breakfasts and miscellaneous events, I can't even list them all here, so visit their website for a look at all the creative Californian Harry Potter celebrations that went on there!


Well, they say everything is bigger in Texas, and evidently, the Harry Potter parties and celebrations in and around Midland are no exception to Texas' larger than life rule of thumb. Over 800 are expected at the local Barnes and Noble's costume party and at the Midland Libray, they are planning to party all night long with a lock-in where children can spend the whole night partaking in different Harry Potter events.


The Windy City's DailyHerald.com reports about its city's "All Harry's Eve" celebrations, costume parties, games, events, parades and festivities in another long list. See their website for their list as well as their "All Things Harry" page!

Well, if this has not been a nationwide of Harry Potter Hysteria, then I don't know what would. Personally, I just think that it is amazing that the imagination of one J.K. Rowling can inspire all of this. Not to mention how awesome it is that she has single handedly brought back reading in a world where kids have so TV, DVDs, video games, and computers as possible book deterrents. It is too bad that she has opted to end the Harry Potter series of books, I hope she decides to write more in the future!