• Monday , 19 February 2018

Wizards Cast a Spell Once Again on Chestnut Hill at the Harry Potter Festival


Stories, photos by Jill Beckel

Do you consider yourself a wizard, witch or just an ordinary muggle? If you don’t know what we’re talking about, you must have been living under a rock for the past 15 years. Wizards and muggles alike flocked to Chestnut Hill, PA for the annual Harry Potter Festival on Oct. 16 to 17th where Chestnut Hill turned into the much-loved fictional wizarding world of Harry Potter. The magic-filled weekend started with a Harry Potter Pub Crawl. True, there’s not much drinking in J. K. Rowling‘s books or in the movies, but the Hogwarts students did really seem to enjoy those butterbeers! Who really needs an excuse to do a pub crawl anyway?

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday night, ticket-holders to the pub crawl were in awe as Germantown Avenue was turned into Hogsmeade right before their eyes. There were lots of potions to be enjoyed including butterbeer, pumpkin beer and special wizard sodas as the main highlights. Everyone stopped by pubs all along the street like Iron Hill Brewery, Tavern on the Hill, McNally’s Tavern, Campbell’s Place, Paris Bistro, and Chestnut Grill. Registered pub crawlers also received a T-shirt, glow-in-the-dark wand and wristband. Even without a pub crawl wristband, muggles and wizards could still stop by any one of the bars to enjoy a wizardly brew as well.

Costumes were highly encouraged and almost everyone participated by dressing like their favorite Harry Potter characters. It seems too hard to choose just one favorite, so a classic Gryffindor student uniform complete with a red tie and red and gold scarf it was. There were many others in school uniforms, but also a wide assortment of each and every character from the books (although only ONE Voldemort sighting). It was truly magical seeing everyone’s creativity and joy of being that character for a night. There were impromptu duels on the streets and photos taken when one family member “found” another one. People even acted out scenes from the movie like when Voldemort demanded to see Draco Malfoy’sdark mark.”

On Saturday, Potter fans of all ages got to enjoy the festival with sorting hat demonstrations, Harry Potter sweets and treats, a scavenger hunt, live reading of the books, and film screenings. It was truly a “wicked” weekend for all who came. If you are a Harry Potter fan, it’s one annual weekend you sure don’t want to miss.

Mischief Managed
(Harry Potter and his friends’ closing signature for the Marauder’s Map, a magical document that reveals all of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry‘s secrets and people’s whereabouts.)


Muggles and wizards lining up to sign in for the Harry Potter Pub Crawl – the kick-off event for the weekend’s festivities.


The large line of pub crawl participants collecting their T-shirt and wand.


Special drink creations were made for the weekend’s festivities.


Professor Lupin and three versions of his wife, Nymphadora Tonks.


Witches Brew & Muggles Cherry – HP-themed sodas created for the weekend.


The Local Prophet news – Chestnut Hill’s version of The Daily Prophet newspaper.


Most of the shops on Germantown Ave. changed their signs to reflect the Harry Potter theme.


Featuring a Nimbus 2000 broomstick for sale!


A bookstore transformed into Scribbles and Blots.


Hagrid checking his hair.


Witches and wizards love coffee too!


Some maps and prints.


Pumpkin Ale was a big hit at Iron Hill Brewery.


Iron Hill Brewery decorated to look like the Great Hall at Hogwarts.


Mmmmm – butterbeer! A sugary mixed drink made with Schnapps.


Sirius Black was no where to be found.


Hagrid met his much smaller twin.


All the tools you’ll need for Newt Potions can be found here.


Pick up a new outfit at the Shrieking Shack!


St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.


Looking for a particular ingredient for your next potion? You’ll find it here!


Death Eater warning poster.


A duel broke out between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange!


Voldemort inspecting Draco’s dark mark.


A Death Eater’s dark mark is displayed on the forearm to symbolize their loyalty to the Dark Lord.


A group of happy pub crawlers in costume.


Lots of photo ops to remember a fun night.


Everyone having fun checking out each pub crawl stop.

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