Muggles and wizards flood downtown Aurora for brand new Harry Potter Fest
By Nixa Del Real Robles
On July 30, muggles and wizards alike flooded to Aurora, Ill. for the first ever Harry Potter Festival. Aurora resident Kate Purl spearheaded the inaugural festival with the help of over 200 volunteers. Purl partnered with Culture Stock, a used bookstore and non-profit organization that provides the Aurora community with many free community events. The sold out event brought Harry Potter books to life for their devoted fans. To prepare, many downtown Aurora businesses such as Aurora Fastprint, AKA Dance and United Way created elaborate displays to show their Potter spirit.
Starting off on the corner of Downer and Stolp, witches and wizards were given a copy of the marauders map in order to stir up some mischief. Some young Hogwarts students darted off to the Hogwarts express, while others decided to visit the festival grounds. At Diagon Alley, also known as Water Street Mall, the delicious Butterbeer garden, non-alcoholic of course, took place. Where many stayed to enjoy the sun, and maybe find a Horcrux or two. This village contained vendors who swore they could sell you a single bath bomb that could choose a witch or wizards Hogwarts house. Others sold the necessary school supplies for the Hogwarts potion and herbology happening in Hogwarts castle in the Copley Theatre on Galena Boulevard.
Paramount Theatre screened Harry Potter Movies 1-4 non-stop throughout the event. Which was great for those who wanted to refresh their knowledge before boarding the knight bus hosted by the Aurora Public Library. The Aurora Regional Fire Museum sorted young wizards to their house and also showed them rare muggle artifacts. SciTech Hands on Museum presented space exhibits and the StarLab planetarium for young witches and wizards wishing to learn more about Professor Firenze star gazing.
As five o’clock rolled around, young witches and wizards full of Butterbeer headed home. All was well. The festival committee plans to discuss holding future Harry Potter Festivals, but nothing has been announced.