It’s been six years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II was released and 10 years since the book, but we’re all still a little obsessed with The Boy Who Lived (yes, we’re purposefully ignoring The Cursed Child). Is there really anyone out there who wouldn’t trade their boring muggle life for a Hogwarts letter? With the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can buy a wand and step into the closest thing we’re ever going to see to Diagon Alley, but the Wizarding World got a whole lot closer than Orlando this past weekend when Blyth, Ontario turned into Blythsmeade, Ontario.
The tiny town saw 9,000 fans from across the globe visit for Western Ontario’s second annual Harry Potter Festival. The event was relocated to Blyth from Goderich, Ontario earlier in the year and tickets for the two-day festival sold out in a matter of hours.
Fans had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere, food, lessons, mystery and entertainment of the wizarding world all weekend. There were Quidditch tournaments between Canadian teams; lessons in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Divination and Potions; a Fantastic Beasts themed scavenger hunt; and a ‘selfie park’ with key fixtures from the books where you could document the whole thing.
If that doesn’t seem like enough to do, there were also performances by Potter-inspired ‘Wrock’ bands like The Lovegoods and Draco and the Malfoys. Vendor tents offered merchandise, fortune-telling, wand decorating, face painting, prizes and book-inspired treats. Butterbeer, anyone?
Hellooooo Bayfield! We still have a limited supply of HARRY POTTER SORTING HAT CUPCAKES!! 🎉📚✨⛈Come get them while you can, or try one of our always delicious treats like tea biscuits and our cupcake of the day, #chocolatechipcookie ! Open until 5 ☺️🍁🍃 #bayfieldontario #thepinkflamingobakery #sortinghat #sortinghatcupcakes #transfiguredtown2017 #transfiguredtown
Even the local shops got in on the Harry fun. A yarn store went from ‘Stitches with a Twist’ to ‘Witches with a Twist’ and ‘Maple and Moose’ became ‘The Magical Moose’ (which sounds like it would make a pretty neat Canadian patronus).
Magic was certainly in the air but so was love. There was a Potter-inspired proposal in the Mirror of Erised at the selfie park on Saturday. The mirror is supposed to show you what you desire most. Who knew it could also make it come true?
As a student of Hogwart you need to master all sorts of spells. However there is one spell that Wizards and Muggles share and that’s LOVE!! I was honored to witness this amazing moment. CONGRATULATIONS —— #FOW2017 #transfiguredtown #shesaidyes #specialmoments #lookingforthesamekindoflove #letyourgeekflagfly #harrypotter #festivalofwizardry #mirroroferised #mirror #weddingbells —–
Unfortunately, the weekend’s fun was cut short when strong winds blew in, prompting the event organizers to cancel the Sunday events for safety reasons. Don’t worry though, for all those fans that didn’t get to the festival, they are already working on plans for next year. In the meantime, might as well read the books again. Accio Philosopher’s Stone!