Harry Potter Festival
The Chestertown Harry Potter Festival takes flight in this colonial river town on Friday-Saturday October 2-3, 2015 featuring free and ticketed events to benefit the non-profit Fund for Kent County of Mid-Shore Community Foundation and the Garfield Center for the Arts, which plays host to many of the weekend’s events. 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!
Muggle and wizard fans far and wide are invited to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s award-winning books for a weekend of family-friendly activities. Throughout the historic district the festival has coordinated shops and events inspired by fabled locations and themes in the Harry Potter series. Robes, wands and costumes are ideal apparel for fans of all ages for the festival’s Kick-off Party at the Garfield Center for the Arts on High Street (210 High Street), from 6:00 to 9:00pm. A Costume Contest (3-3:45pm on October 3) will also be featured among many events on Saturday afternoon during “Potter in the Park” (12-4:00pm).
This year’s festival theme is based on “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and includes street theatre skits, college Quidditch, amateur Kidditch matches, a self-guided scavenger hunt, magic crafts, and much more. A complete Schedule of Events follows (and is available online); maps are available at the Garfield during the weekend:
Wednesday, September 30
5:30-7:00pm: Harry Potter Read-a-Thon. Sign up to read or come listen to favorite passages from the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter fan-fictions, and other Harry Potter related reading material. (Kent County Public Library-Free) Details visit: Harry Potter Read-a-Thon & Fan Extravaganza
Friday, October 2
2:00-4:30pm: Film showing: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at Kent County Public Library (Free)
4:30-5:30pm: Authors of “Harry Potter and the Art of Spying” will lead a spirited discussion. For all ages at The Bookplate (Free)
6:00-9:00pm: Festival Kick-Off Party at “Hogwarts” (Garfield Center for the Arts). Triwizard launch, magic, trivia contest, wizard rock, and costumed fun! (Pay at door: $5 for adults; 12 and under free)
Saturday October 3
9:00am-12:00pm: Quidditch Session I, college-level exhibition and “Kidditch” matches for young wizards in the park adjacent to 300 So. Cross Street (Free)
9:30-3:00pm: “Ollivander’s” – Local furniture craftsman Robert Ortiz opens his studio (207 So. Cross St.) to host wand crafters. Vendors will help you find the wand that “chooses” you. Wandlore discussion, wand measuring and more (Free)
11:00-2:00pm: Film showing: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at Kent County Public Library (Free)
10:00am-3:00pm: New multi-tiered Scavenger Hunt throughout downtown businesses dressed as Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley establishments. Collect your map at Hogwarts (Garfield Center for the Arts), complete the hunt, and win a prize. (Free)
10:30am-Noon: Kids’ Hogwarts Experience – AM Session. Wear the Sorting Hat and take classes with local wizard Professors. Tickets $25 in advance; SOLD OUT. (For wizards 8-12 years old)
11:30am-2:30pm: “Durmstrang Outdoor School” on the Chester River. Themed visits aboard Echo Hill Outdoor School’s historic wooden boats, the skipjack “Elsworth” and “Annie D” buy boat, at the town pier. (Free)
Noon-4:00pm: Potter In the Park – Themed food and vendors, activities and entertainment in Fountain Park, including dueling, face painting, magic, wizard rock music, crafts, photo opportunities and more. (Free)
12:30-3:30pm: Hogwarts Potions Class (presented by Radcliffe Creek School) and The Room of Requirement. (Lobby, Garfield Center for the Arts). (Free)
1:00-2:30pm: Hogwarts Lake Cruise* (River Packet themed cruise on the Chester River-Advance purchase ticketed event)
1:00-3:00pm: Washington College features the Dr. A. J. Delario Magic Collection. View rare books unearthed from the Restricted Section. No invisibility cloak necessary. Presentation to include demonstrations by Washington College student and magician Ian Flinn and Archivist/Special Collections Librarian, Dr. Heather Calloway. Located at the Historical Society of Kent County (High Street and Cross St.) at “Bathilda Bagshot’s Historical Society”). (Free)
Throughout day: Triwizard-themed street theatre skits. Consult Festival map for locations and times. (Free)
3:00-3:45pm: Costume Contest in Fountain Park, all ages (Free)
4:00-5:30pm: Kids’ Hogwarts Experience – PM Session. Wear the Sorting Hat and take classes with local wizard Professors. Tickets $25 in advance; SOLD OUT. (For wizards 8-12 years old)
4:00-6:00pm: Quidditch-Session II, college-level exhibition matches and Chestertown Festival Cup presentation in the park adjacent to 300 So. Cross Street (Free)
6:30-9:30pm: House Party at the Leaky Cauldron – Show your House colors! Themed food and drinks, wizard wrock dance bands, trivia contest and more. Tickets $30, advance purchase. (J.R.’s Pub, 337 High St.) for adults 21 and over.
6:30-9:30pm: All-Ages Wizard Dance Party at Hogwarts (Garfield Center for the Arts). Tickets $5 at the door. Under 12 must be accompanied by a fully qualified wizard.
Festival updates, accommodation recommendations, directions and details: www.chestertownhpfest.org or the ChestertownHPFest 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 distributes grants to enhance the quality of life throughout the mid-Eastern Shore of Maryland region. The Fund for Kent County is a permanent source of discretionary grant funding designed to support Kent County, MD initiatives.