|Messenger photo by Stephanie Nesler
|Jonathan Lawrence looks on as artist Meghan Elliott gives him the most popular face painting request of the evening "The Lightning Bolt."
Anticipation filled the air of Pickerington’s Barnes and Noble July 20 as young wizards and witches eagerly awaited the release of J.K. Rowlings’ final book in her popular series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
Barnes and Nobles’ Midnight Magical Countdown had a feeling of the supernatural as house elves and magical creatures darted about the store entertaining young readers as they awaited the witching hour of the book’s release. Wizards in training were presented many enchanting activities to pass the time including face painting, wand making, and scavenger hunting. "Magical potions" were among the most popular tricks of the evening.
Excitement rippled through those who attended the event as they lined up around the block waiting to receive a special wristband identifying their purchase. Some Potter fans waited in line dressed as wizards and magical creatures. At one point, the witches and wizards were so plentiful one might think they must be nearing Diagon Alley.
For many fans, the anticipation of the final book was bittersweet. Readers of all ages were saddened that the Harry Potter series was ending. After all, Harry Potter has conjured many amazing spells over the years…the most important of those, the spellbound effect the character had over readers.
Just ask the May family, of Hamilton Township, who made Harry Potter a family affair. They drove to Dayton to pick up Harry Potter t-shirts to wear to the Midnight Magical Countdown. In addition, each of the May sisters hosted a Harry Potter movie night leading up to Friday’s release.
"All the movies are good but none are as great as J.K. Rowlings’ books," said Tricia May-Woods. "We are not stopping until we have finished the book!"
Chris and Amanda Midkiff, a brother sister duo of Violet Township, also love Rowlings’ books and even dressed in costume to celebrate the event.
"Harry Potter is something that can be shared with any age; the books appeal to people who love great entertainment," said Karen Sewell of Barnes and Noble.
Sewell shared that the first Harry Potter fan showed up at the book store at noon on July 20 and was prepared to stay until midnight.
Scholastic Inc., the publisher of the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," reported that 8.3 million copies were sold in the first 24 hours of availability; a fact that reportedly breaks all previous sales records and makes publishing history.