Pacing the Cage: Potter party spells end of popular series

Columbus Messenger staff writer Dianne Garrett attends the "Harry Potter" Party held in Wilmington, Ohio, to commemorate the release the last book in the popular series.

Can you say "Harry Potter Party" ten times?

July 20 was the big day that held much anticipation for Harry Potter fans everywhere.

I attended "Wizarding Wilmington," the biggest party in Ohio, honoring J.K. Rowling’s seventh and final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."


Dan and Marla Stewart, owners of Books ‘N’ More in downtown Wilmington, along with other businesses and volunteers, organized the city’s third HP event.  

his time, through the Downtown Wilmington Community Improvement Committee, the city sponsored the party.  The Stewarts hosted a party with the Murphy Theatre for the release of the fourth book in 2000.  In 2005 the party took to the streets for the sixth book’s release.

Attendees from coast to coast not only traveled to the event, but one family from Ireland planned their yearly vacation to visit Ohio relatives around it.

The historic General Denver Hotel was transformed into Hogwart’s, where wizarding classes and a feast were the highlights.  

Huge bubbles spewed from the hotel into Main Street, while entire families roamed the streets in costumes.


St. Columbkill Catholic Church’s parking lot sported bouncies and inflatables for small children.  Others braved the HP haunted tour.  The alleys became "Diagon Alley."

Over 6,000 wizards purchased about 1,000 books.  At midnight everyone lined the streets as a woman rode a white unicorn through town.  

I have to admit that  I’ve never read that first book or seen any of the movies, but that is about to change.

As I strolled around my hometown running into friends and classmates with their children and grandchildren, I couldn’t help but think, "How cool!"  

I’m in awe that Rowling has been able to write a series of books that is appealing and fascinating to all ages, even great-grandparents.  How amazing is it that four generations have something to share in the form of great reading.

Together they took to the streets dressed as characters at a fantasy party for seven hours of good, clean family fun.  I’m sure they headed home anxious to start reading, and I’ll bet some even had little flashlights in the car.

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