HP Fes­ti­val back in Chestertown Fri­day, Satur­day

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By LEANN SCHENKE lschenke@thekent­coun­tynews.com

— Mug­gles ev­ery­where be­ware, the magic of Harry Pot­ter is com­ing to town as witches and wizards alike make their way to the fourth an­nual Chestertown HP Fes­ti­val Oct. 6 and 7, no brooms, floo pow­der or a ticket for the Hog­warts ex­press re­quired.

“For me, it’s a special phe­nom­e­non that has cap­ti­vated the imag­i­na­tions of peo­ple. It speaks to so many peo­ple,” said Tess Ho­gans, fes­ti­val vol­un­teer ex­ec­u­tive board pres­i­dent.

The fes­ti­val, which is based on J.K. Rowl­ing’s se­ries of nov­els on the ad­ven­tures of Harry Pot­ter, opens at 6 p.m. Fri­day with a kick­off party at the Garfield Cen­ter for the Arts lo­cated at 201 High St. There, at­ten­dees may par­tic­i­pate in a cos­tume con­test, which is free for ages 12 and un­der and $5 for every­one else.

The 200 block of High Street in front of the theater will be closed to traf­fic from 6 p.m. Fri­day un­til the end of the kick­off party. On Satur­day, High Street will re­main closed to traf­fic from North Queen Street to Spring Av­enue un­til 8 a.m. Sun­day.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Memo­rial Plaza will be closed to traf­fic Satur­day due to ven­dors and booths set up there.

Events on Satur­day be­gin at 9 a.m. with var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the town. The fes­ti­val will come to a close with the new Azk­a­ban Prison Break Party at 7:30 p.m. at the Garfield Cen­ter. Tick­ets for the dance are $15 in ad­vance and $20 at the door.

The wiz­ard-themed dance party is for all ages and will ex­tend from the Garfield Cen­ter into High Street un­der a tent. There will be trivia con­tests and themed games along with a carded cash bar, “Quid­ditch pong,” food trucks and wiz­ard rock bands.

New this year, in ad­di­tion to the Prison Break Party, is the Magic Hall of Talk­ing Por­traits from 1 to 3:45 p.m. at KidSPOT, 315 High St., Suite 108. This tick­eted event will take at­ten­dees on an art tour where the paint­ings speak and move, much like por­traits do within the world of Harry Pot­ter. Each tour is 15 min­utes long and tick­ets may be pur­chased for $5 at www. chester­town­river­arts.net.

Also new, the HP Fes­ti­val is part­ner­ing with the Sul­tana Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter, which will have free ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the cen­ter, which is lo­cated at 105 Cross St. There will be af­ter­noon tur­tle races, which will help de­ter­mine the win­ner of the house cup.

Fa­vorites from past fes­ti­vals also will be go­ing on through­out the town.

A scavenger hunt through the “wiz­ard vil­lage of shops” in Chestertown will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Also start­ing 10 a.m. and run­ning un­til 5 p.m. will be Quid­ditch tour­na­ments in Wilmer Park.

“This year there is more ac­tiv­i­ties and kid-friendly stuff to do,” Heather Cal­loway said. Cal­loway, ar­chiv­ist and special col­lec­tions li­brar­ian at Wash­ing­ton Col­lege, han­dles the pub­lic re­la­tions and mar­ket­ing for the fes­ti­val. She said there will also be lots of booths and ven­dors for peo­ple to visit as they walk around the town.

There will be var­i­ous classes straight from Hog­warts in­clud­ing charms class from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sul­tana Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter and a wand­maker’s co-op from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

De­fense Against the Dark Arts class will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Foun­tain Park and Rad­cliffe Creek School Po­tion Class will be held from 12:30 to 3 p.m. in front of the Garfield Cen­ter.

“We try to make it more about Chestertown. We have so many quirky lo­cal shops that it’s easy to imag­ine you’re in a town with witches and wizards,” Ho­gans said.

Ho­gans said the aim of the fes­ti­val is not just to cel­e­brate the phe­nom­e­non that is Harry Pot­ter but to pro­mote busi­ness and the com­mu­nity in Chestertown and cel­e­brate the arts scene.

Ho­gans and Cal­loway agree that the com­mu­nity of Chestertown is what keeps peo­ple com­ing back year after year to the fes­ti­val.

“It fits the town so well. With our fes­ti­val, we make it more about Chestertown and the com­mu­nity we have here,” Ho­gans said. “That’s what sets us apart from other fes­ti­vals.”

For more in­for­ma­tion or to pur­chase tick­ets, visit www. chester­townh­pfest.org.


Wash­ing­ton Col­lege stu­dent El­iz­a­beth Wil­son, left, and her friend Devin Ruth of New Jer­sey, stop out­side of Chestertown Nat­u­ral Apothe­cary, reg­u­larly known as Chestertown Nat­u­ral Foods, dur­ing last year’s Chestertown HP Fes­ti­val.


Mor­gan El­lis of Chestertown holds her son Ari Daw­son, who is dressed as a man­drake, dur­ing last year’s Chestertown HP Fes­ti­val kick­off party at the Garfield Cen­ter for the Arts. The fes­ti­val re­turns for its fourth year Oct. 6 and 7 at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Chestertown.

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