Mug­gles be­ware!

The Chestertown HP Fes­ti­val re­turns Oct. 5-6

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

CHESTERTOWN — Now in its fifth year, the Chestertown HP Fes­ti­val will cel­e­brate the mag­i­cal world of witches and wiz­ards this week­end.

Events be­gin Fri­day evening and con­tinue all day Sat­ur­day, fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer Tess Ho­gans said. At­ten­dees can ex­pect fa­vorites of years past like quid­ditch in Wilmer Park along with be plenty of new events, Ho­gans said.

The fes­ti­val of­fi­cially be­gins Fri­day with a Kick-Off Party from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Garfield Cen­ter for the Arts. The party will in­clude per­for­mances, ma­gi­cian, trivia con­test, food trucks, cos­tume con­test and more.

Ho­gans said driv­ers should ex­pect High Street to be closed from Queen Street to Spring Av­enue start­ing Fri­day night and open­ing again Sun­day morn­ing. She said this is to make sure vis­i­tors have room to browse through ven­dors in Foun­tain Park.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Figg’s Or­di­nary’s park­ing lot and park­ing near Lawyers Row will be re­served for ven­dors and vol­un­teers.

Then on Sat­ur­day, Ho­gans said vis­i­tors should not miss the up­dated “Hog­warts Ex­pe­ri­ence,” which is now called “Through the Trap­door” at the Garfield Cen­ter. Chil­dren can go on a jour­ney like Harry, Ron and Hermione did in the “Sorcerer’s Stone.”

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tick­ets are $5 and can be pur­chased at the door.

“Pre­vi­ously, we would take kids into the Garfield Cen­ter, but we could not take more than 80 at a time. We wanted to make it some­thing ev­ery­one has the chance to do,” Ho­gans said.

Also new this year, the HP Fes­ti­val has part­nered with Kalei­do­scope Chil­dren’s Art Stu­dio for a “Mag­i­cal Crea­ture Habi­tat Work­shop.”

In the work­shop, chil­dren can learn how to make habi­tats for the crea­tures of wiz­ards and witches.

Ho­gans said the Kent County Pub­lic Li­brary also will have an ex­panded dis­play this year. The ex­hibit, open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat­ur­day is called “The Shades of Erised” in ref­er­ences to the mir­ror from the first Harry Pot­ter book.

The dis­play will fo­cus on Hog­warts stu­dents imag­ined as dif­fer­ent races. Ho­gans said the dis­play is a cel­e­bra­tion of di­ver­sity both in the com­mu­nity and in the books.

Also at the li­brary, there will be a di­ver­sity cos­play meet-up from 11 a.m. to noon.

Other re­turn­ing fa­vorites this year are a po­tion jar work­shop at RiverArts held Fri­day and Sat­ur­day. In ref­er­ence to the books, RiverArts’ will again host its pop­u­lar “Talk­ing Por­traits” gallery.

The fes­ti­val’s pop­u­lar scav­enger hunt will be­gin at 10 a.m. and runs un­til 3 p.m. Maps will be avail­able at the Garfield Cen­ter.

An­other new fea­ture will of- fer vis­i­tors the chance to ex­press their cre­ativ­ity while giv­ing lo­cals a sneak peek at new restau­rant in Chestertown. Jeff Maguire will open the space for his com­ing speak-easy-style restau­rant slated to open next year as the lo­ca­tion of “HP Paint Par­ties.”

At­ten­dees to the par­ties will pick from four dif­fer­ent paints to im­mo­late and add their own cre­ative flair.

For those who want to flex their knowl­edge of HP triva, Hester Sache, HP Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee mem­ber, will host a HPthemed trivia con­test start­ing at 7:30 p.m. Sat­ur­day. Ad­mis­sion is $20 at the door.

As far as mu­sic, Ho­gans said Sat­ur­day evening also will fea­ture a so called “Mug­gle cover band” while there will be plenty of “wiz­ard rock” all day long.

Ho­gans said the fes­ti­val in its cur­rent form is how she hopes it will stay.

“We’re try­ing not to let it grow past what it is be­cause it would not be man­age­able,” Ho­gans said. “When we started this, we wanted it to be a party of sorts, but it’s such a pop­u­lar thing and we wanted to raise money for the town while hav­ing fun.”

Ho­gans said pro­ceeds from the event sup­port the Garfield Cen­ter for the Arts and the Kent County Pub­lic Li­brary.

“I think what makes HP unique is that it is re­ally fam­ily ori­ented,” Ho­gans said. “Its a won­der­ful mag­i­cal day.”

Ho­gans said out­side of what is of­fered at restau­rants, there no al­co­hol at the fes­ti­val although there is a non-al­co­holic “but­ter­scotch beer.”

Ho­gans said in ad­di­tion to the fes­ti­val’s fam­ily friendly na­ture, it also is a fun way to be­gin Oc­to­ber.

“You don’t have to know a lot about Harry Pot­ter,” Ho­gans said. “We have this amaz­ing his­toric and colo­nial town, so its fun to dress up and come see it.”

For a full sched­ule of events, visit chester­townh­pfest.org.

FILE PHOTO

Stu­dents are sorted into one of four houses, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Huf­flepuff and Raven­claw, dur­ing last year’s Chestertown HP Fes­ti­val with Pro­fes­sor Minerva McGon­a­gall lead­ing the sort­ing. This year’s fes­ti­val will be held Fri­day and Sat­ur­day in Chestertown.

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