Wizards of all ages have received their Hogwarts acceptance letters and are invited to Edinboro’s seventh annual Potterfest, a weeklong Harry Potter-themed festival that celebrates the J.K. Rowling literature and popular film series.
From Sept. 23-30, Edinboro University and the surrounding community will celebrate the pop culture icon Harry Potter through philosophical discussions, professional presentations, games and contests, music, food and more.
“The influence of Harry Potter has spread far beyond the movie world and the book world,” said Dr. Corbin Fowler, a professor in EU’s English and Philosophy Department, who organized the original event seven years ago. “We cover many subjects in academia, such as history, philosophy, science, sociology and cultural influence.”
The 2017 festivities begin on Saturday, Sept. 23 with “Day at the Castle,” an all-ages event that brings the magical experience of Hogwarts to life. Wizard candidates can begin registering for the morning session at 9 a.m. for the 9:30 a.m. start. The afternoon session begins at 1:30 p.m., and participants should begin registering by 1 p.m. Both sessions will be held on the third floor of the Frank G. Pogue Student Center.
Highlights of the 2017 Potterfest schedule:
New this year, KentHogwarts, from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, Ohio, will present a “Defense Against the Dark Arts” course on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 1-5 p.m. in the Pogue Student Center. During the workshop, presenters will teach peace, courage and tolerance through Harry Potter.
“This is a practical application for people dealing with major issues such as depression and sorrow,” Fowler said.
Additionally, the Potterfest crew added a new downtown march on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 5 p.m. Participants are asked to dress in costumes from the Harry Potter films and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and meet at 5 p.m. at Centennial Hall. Cosplay wizards and beasts will then march downtown to share the spirit of Harry Potter with the Edinboro community.
“We wanted an opportunity to spread the word and have some fun,” Fowler said. “There are so many Harry Potter fans that aren’t kids, and we want to make our presence known.”
In the Edinboro community, several local businesses will help extend the festival beyond EU’s main campus. Once again, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm will host the Corn Maze throughout the festival. Hungry guests can visit Flip Café in downtown Edinboro for Butterbeer and Potter pastries. Goodell Gardens & Homestead is offering a “Magical Farmers Market,” with craft vendors and magical-themed hand-made goods on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 3-6 p.m.
“From the very beginning, the local sponsors were an important part of making Potterfest a community event,” Fowler said. “We’ve always wanted this to be a University and community affair.”
For more information about the seventh annual Edinboro Potterfest, visit www.Potterfest.com.