In the enchanted spirit of Hallowe’en, I want to relate a most magical event: a Wizard Faire!
The faire was hosted last summer by a library – not particularly close to where I live, but sometimes one must make quests for magic. It was held in the heart of a small town, full of handsome old buildings of stone and carved, painted woodwork. We entered through a brick gateway guarded by a dragon which waved its great wings as we approached.
There were lots of clever allusions to Harry Potter. For instance, Green Gobbs Bank – an actual historic bank, the especially handsome kind built of stone, with a carved stone arch above the door. Not only was the dragon fittingly nearby, but inside was the Escape Room, where one could search for the Elder Key.
Across the Alley was Sweetlords Confections, my first stop to admire all the treats. Some were handmade by local folk, some flown in from England (by owl??).
I had just gleefully bought a bag of Sherbet Lemons when my husband hailed me – Professor Dumbledore was walking by, did I want a photo with him? Professor Dumbledore…! He greeted me with a beaming smile and open arms. I humbly offered him a Sherbet Lemon, and he said, “Why yes, I’d be glad to share one with you.” That might have been the highpoint of the whole faire for a mere Muggle like me.
Enjoying the Faire like us were lots of people in magical clothing. Market stalls sold wands, Remembralls, purple handbags like Hermione’s, writing quills, potions…
You could decorate your shopping bag to carry all these things, and you could glamorize your own wand! Along the street were also familiar-sounding shops: Fiction and Plots, for one.
If you preferred, you could take a class in making your own Potions – next up: how to make Troll Boogers (I passed on that one). More enticing for me was the Herbology Stall.
First Years could make “Fortune Tellers”, of the folded paper kind. Other forms of divination were present: a gifted witch would read your tea leaves, and then there was the Grim Tea Cup.
We refreshed ourselves with pumpkin pasty, rockcakes (much more delicious than they sound) and butterscotch beer. There were other delights to choose from, too. On the stage, young people showed their skills with Irish Dancing, including a Sorting Hat Ceremony while stepping lively. Later, we learned about owls with three of the beautiful creatures and their caretaker.
Lastly, Professor Snape took the stage, and performed feats of magic for us, enlisting young onlookers in helping him out with spells – Protego protected a balloon from being pierced with a needle, for instance. And a young witch got a card to levitate once she perfected the pronunciation of Wingardium Leviosa.
What an excellent day! And it all benefited the town’s library. Because libraries are most assuredly magic.