Harry Potter Weekend serves up ghost stories, costumes and Quidditch in Chestnut Hil
October 30, 2012By Angelo Fichera and Megan McNerney for Philadelphia Neighborhods
Most days, Walt Maguire works on web content at Fox Chase Cancer Center. This weekend, he slipped into a silver cloak and became Albus Dumbledore, the long-bearded professor from the Harry Potter book series.
The literary transformation wasn't difficult, he said.
"I read the books myself and then I've been reading them to my daughter, so I've ended up having to do all the voices while I read them," noted Maguire, who was among a number of folks who dressed up for the Third Annual Harry Potter Weekend in Chestnut Hill.
Germantown Avenue businesses joined in too, coverting themselves into shops from the pages.
The Night Kitchen Bakery became Madame Puddifoot's Tea Shoppe.The Chestnut Hill Local became The Daily Prophet. O'Doodles, became "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes."
Festivities for the three-day event included a "Defense Against the Dark Arts" class, "The Hunt for the Horcrux" scavenger hunt, a make-your-own Muggle-wand station, and a "sorting hat" ceremony.
Geoffrey Beatty, an animation instructor at Philadelphia University, managed a station where children could "fly a broom" in front of a green screen. Videos became part of a mock front-page of The Daily Prophet, the series' newspaper known for its moving photos.
"We thought this may be a good way to use our skills and fulfill every kid's dream of riding on a broom through the clouds," Beatty said, noting that the videos would be sent to families via email.
Storm Swain, a Mt. Airy resident, said Chestnut Hill was a perfect fit for re-creating the Harry Potter world.
"It lends [itself] to Harry Potter and Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley," said Swain, who came to the event with her five-year-old son.
Harry Potter Weekend is sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Business Association. The next theme weekend in Chestnut Hill will be Dickens Weekend on Dec. 8 and 9.