Queen City’s Mischief and Magic

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Queen City’s Mischief and Magic

Phoenix Pribble, Reporter

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This Saturday in Staunton, upwards of 6000 people crowded the downtown streets, donning Hogwarts robes and waving novelty wands. The Queen City Mischief and Magic festival attracted people from all over Virginia, and even as far as Afghanistan and Egypt, together to celebrate their love for Harry Potter. With lines a hundred people deep for exclusive Butterbeer and to make Magical Putty, the celebration drew in a large amount of revenue for local businesses and street vendors.

The celebration started Friday night with a Quidditch game and Great Feast and continued until Sunday evening, with many sessions including Potion Making and Tasting, Dueling, and being sorted into one of the four Hogwarts Houses. The city of Staunton hired individuals to come dressed as Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid, the founders of each House, and Harry Potter himself. On Saturday morning at 9:00, Harry Potter and Hagrid got off the Hogwarts Express at Staunton’s Amtrak station, where a crowd of hundreds waited. In the afternoon, people were able to watch a costume fashion show and attend the different sessions of events.

“It was very fun and almost like being at Universal in Florida,”sophomore McKenzie Rigney said, who attended the celebration on Saturday. “I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan and it was great and awesome that a small town pulled that together. I’d definitely go again next year.”

Each store that participated represented a specific store from the village of Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley and gave out exclusive trading cards to fans. They also had specialized gifts, such as hand painted brooms, sewn dragon dolls and notebooks. Sunspots, a glassblowing shop, made green wands and glass orbs.

Attendees were also able to find keys in order to win prizes. The grand prize key opened a wooden chest and the winner was awarded a Harry Potter beaner and Queen City shirt. All other key finders were given keychains with “Staunton” written on them.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Jessie Sawyers said, who works at Mill Street Body and Soul Day Spa in downtown Staunton. “There were so many people that showed up. The city had them park away from downtown and were shuttled over in buses and the streets were blocked off. We ran out of the special things we were giving away and it was a great business opportunity for the spa. I love our little town and all the wizardly fun I had.”

“It was fantastic and much bigger than last year,” Pat Pribble said, a Lynchburg resident and devout Potter fan. “They were expecting thousands and that’s what they got. It was really great and I just wished I had dressed up!”