In February, my library got to host two fantastic Harry Potter related events. We held our second annual Harry Potter Night (read about last year’s here) and we had a Wizard Rock concert featuring Harry and the Potters and Draco and the Malfoys.
The Castle Tea Room, a local event place, had approached us about using their space for programs — and it ended up being the perfect setting for Harry Potter Night! The inside is even more beautiful.
We reprised several of the activities from last year, like sorting and trivia, but obviously some things, like the owls from Prairie Park Nature Center, weren’t going to work in this space.
We had wand making — all we had to do was gather a lot of sticks, trim them down, and then set out a variety of craft supplies. Kids (and teens and adults!) could decorate them with charms and yarn in their house colors.
One of our security guards is a very accomplished actor, and he read tea leaves to predict the future. This was a very popular activity!
We also had a magical creature room where kids could decorate die-cut frogs, cats, and owls, make origami frogs, cats, and owls, and make house elf ears. In another room, they could get lightning bolt temporary tattoos. They could snap photos in our “have you seen this wizard?” Azhakban wanted poster photo booth. We had wizard themed snacks and butter beer and polyjuice potion for drinks.
We had a fantastic turnout of all ages and our staff had a fantastic time.
At both events, we handed out my list of books for fans of Harry Potter – no matter their age!
It just so happens that one of the members of Harry and the Potters lives in Lawrence, and we’re friendly acquaintances. He let me know that his brother and Draco and the Malfoys would be in Manhattan for a show at K-State, and cut the library a deal on a concert.
Now, these guys are phenomenal. They sing plenty of fun songs that encourage audience participation, but it’s more than that. They encourage everyone to take the wizard pledge, which is basically a call to action to support social justice causes.
I’ll admit, I get a little teary-eyed when Joe plays the piano and the crowd sings along “the weapon we need is love.” Paul and Joe are founding members of the Harry Potter Alliance, which organizes youth to support activist causes. It’s one of my librarian goals to create a chapter at our library (you know, that never ending to-do list…)
If you ever have the chance to have Harry and the Potters play at your library, take it. They don’t tour as much these days, but it’s a great show that really excites people of all ages. It’s so fun that after almost twenty years, Harry Potter still brings people together.
It’s kind of magical, isn’t it?
In related news, I’m happy to report that my procrastination has worked out in my favor for the first time in my life. I’ve put off my final library school elective, and I’m pretty excited to take a new class: The Legacy and Impact of Harry Potter to complete my masters degree.
Harry Potter forever!