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Edinboro University’s spectacular Potterfest returns to campus and community

10/07/2013

Fantasy becomes reality as the magic of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” returns to Edinboro University and the surrounding community for the third annual week-long “Potterfest.”

Potterfest will take place Oct. 12-19, both on and off Edinboro’s campus. Each day will include unique events, such as the Triwizard Challenge Cup, Potterbowl Trivia Contest, performances of “A Very Potter Musical,” Flying Scots “It Which Must Not Be Named” Quidditch Tournament, the Third Annual Ravenclaw Academic Conference and much more.

Potterfest was developed by longtime Edinboro University philosophy professor Dr. Corbin Fowler with the strong support of former Edinboro Provost Phil Ginnetti and the Edinboro business community.  In creating the successful festival, Fowler credited the cooperation and assistance he received from area businesses, organizations and EU campus officials, faculty and staff.

Fowler said he expects audiences and participants of all interests to enjoy the festivities. “The saga of Harry Potter is a heroes’ journey about friendship and family values,” he said. “It is also a story about the ongoing human condition.”

“The Harry Potter story has not only inspired new generations to become readers, it is filled with profound mythical and philosophic themes,” Fowler explained. “Almost every academic discipline has been touched by J.K. Rowling’s work.”

Fowler said he believes the many relevant issues raised by the Harry Potter saga “will continue to be an intellectual gold mine for many years to come.”

The festival kicks off Saturday, Oct. 12 in both Edinboro and Erie. At 9 a.m. in Edinboro, there will be a Dog Agility Show & How to be Safe Around Dogs presentation at the Edinboro Mall (Lakewood Commons). From noon to 4 p.m. at the Erie Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Upper Peach Street, there will be costumed readings of “Tale of The Three Brothers” (aka “the Deathly Hallows”) by Lindsey Gearhart and “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” by Angelina Foster, as well as a magic show from Cale Mangold.

Saturday’s events also include the opening events of the Triwizard Challenge Cup, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm’s corn maze in Edinboro.

The final event of the Triwizard Challenge Cup, a canoe race on Edinboro Lake, will be held in the early afternoon on Sunday, Oct. 13. Also on Sunday, players from the Edinboro Flying Scots Quidditch team will be at Barnes & Noble in Erie from 2-4 p.m. to sign autographs and host a "kidditch" workshop for kids.

On Monday, Oct. 14, the Potterbowl Trivia Contest will be held in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Multipurpose Room from 7-9:30 p.m.  Individual contestants and teams will be asked questions about the “Harry Potter” novels and movies.

For registration information for the Potterbowl Trivia Contest, call 814-602-1694.

The mini-version of “A Very Potter Musical” will be staged Tuesday, Oct. 15, and Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Diebold Center for the Performing Arts by a community theater troupe led by “Headmistress” Mary Beth McCarthy. The performances are free and open to the public. 

In addition, on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Edinboro Public Library, Ann Marie Pochedly will hold a “Harry Potter” reading event for children.

Potterfest’s two-day Ravenclaw Academic Conference, a key component of the festival, begins Thursday, Oct. 17 in the late afternoon at the R. Benjamin Wiley Arts and Science Center. Further Conference sessions are planned for Friday afternoon. This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Fowler, who has been asked by Cambridge Scholars Press to edit a book based on the previous Potterfest Ravenclaw Academic Conferences.

Also Oct. 17, the Edinboro student orchestra and chorale, directed by Music Department Chair Gary Grant and Dr. Peter van den Honert, respectively, will take the stage at Louis C. Cole Auditorium-Memorial Hall at 7:30 p.m. to perform music from the “Harry Potter” films, including “Double Trouble” and “In Noctem.” The public is invited to attend this hour-long, free performance.

In addition to the Ravenclaw Conference, activities for Friday, Oct. 18 include the Hallows Ball, featuring area bands The Dirty Pickles and Special Guest and a costume contest, from 9 p.m. to midnight in Edinboro University’s Crawford Center gymnasium. Admission to the ball is free, and costumes are encouraged but not required.

Potterfest 2013 concludes on Saturday, Oct. 19, with the “It Which Must Not Be Named” Quidditch tournament, featuring Edinboro’s own “Flying Scots.” The tourney will be played on the lawns between Loveland, Doucette and Crawford Halls at 11 a.m.

Area businesses, including Eclectic Etceteras Coffee House, Flip Café, the Empty Keg and Earthshine, will get in on the fun with “Harry Potter”-related events throughout Saturday afternoon.

For more information, complete schedule and contact listings, visit www.potterfest.com.