4th Annual Harry Potter Festival in Chestertown – October 6 & 7, 2017

The 4th Annual Chestertown Harry Potter Festival has just come to a conclusion. This year’s festival used the 3rd book in the series, The Prisoner of Azkaban, as its theme. Thousands of wizards of all ages and a few muggles too, swooped into the same Eastern Shore town. They came by broomsticks, floo powder, portkey, apparition, and the classic muggle transportation, automobiles.

I haven’t heard the estimate on the amount of visitors that came to Chestertown on the first weekend of October, but it was sure to have increased the population by a couple of thousand.

The Festival opened on Friday, October 6th 2017. The first Friday of the month is already full of activities for residents and visitors, and was made even more so with in influx of people coming to the festival. The Garfield Center for the Arts, which assists greatly and is a major benefactor of the festival, held the opening kick-off party. During this Kick-off event there was a Stump the Hermione trivial contest, a costume contest (three categories, kids under 12, teen and adult, and group), and performances. The performances included a short skit revealing Sirius Black , and music by Brian Malfoy, of Draco and the Malfoys, the Bibbering Humdingers and Ashley Hamel. Each of these artist performed music based on the Potterverse termed Wizard Rock.

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Slide show of Photographs from the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival Kick-off Party at the Garfield Center for the Arts by SG Atkinson

On Saturday October 7th, the party hit the street of Chestertown. Many of the local stores turned their establishments into places of the Wizarding World. They also had clues for the scavenger hunt. Fountain Park became an outdoor marketplace.

Brian Malfoy and the Bibbering Humdingers performed another set of songs. Some were the same as heard at the kick-off party, but they did change their sets slightly. As Kirsten and Scott Vaughan, the husband and wife team behind the Bibbering Humdingers, told me they adjust their set to the crowd. Some of their songs are not directly Harry Potter related, but delve into other fantasy worlds. One of the selections played during the festival is titled “Raised by Nerds”.

Kent School, a Kent County Private School, turned an old bank building into Gringotts Wizarding Bank. The bank is run by goblins and the school had students and volunteers dressed as goblins to help the visitors with their banking needs at Gringotts.

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Slide show of Photographs from the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival on Saturday October 7, 2017 by SG Atkinson

The day ended with an Azkaban Prison Break Party, a ticketed event at the Garfield Center for the Arts. The party included a trivia contest, themed games and dancing with the dementors to evil wizard rock.

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