Harry Potter Festival

July 6, 2016 | Stefanie DiMartino



On October 21 & 22 something magical happened in Chestnut Hill, the annual Harry Potter Festival returned for the 6th year in a row. To kick off the wizardry and wonder, we went on the Potter themed pub crawl. Tickets for this event sold out in less than 8 minutes so we were pleased to be able to participate. It was enchanting to say the least! Eight local bars & dining destinations participated in the pub. Since everything was located on Germantown Avenue it was easy and fun to hop from spot to spot.

Tavern on the Hill served a delicious hot butterbeer, perfect for welcoming the autumn weather. Stepping inside we felt as if we were transported into Hogsmeade. Everywhere the eye could see there were Potter fans dressed like their favorite characters. The butterbeer was even served in a special Harry Potter cup that said “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” on one side and had the signature round spectacles on the other. It was too cute!

At Paris Bistro, we had to try the polyjuice potion, famous for turning Hermione into a cat in the second book of the series. The gin cocktail was an enigmatic green color. Although this potion did not change our physical state, we still enjoyed its herbal flavor.

The Venetian Club served Potter themed jello shots which were deliciously sweet. We probably had too many of these but didn’t regret it. After all, this was a pub crawl!

The following morning was the main event! During the Harry Potter Festival there were more options than could be done between 10am and 5pm. However, we gave it our best efforts! There were quidditch matches running throughout the day, horcrux activity stations, performances with Harry and his friends, sorting hat demonstrations, Potter themed treats, and even Defense Against The Darks Arts Classes. It was impressive how the small town came together to throw an event so authentic to the stories that even J.K. Rowling would have been satisfied.

Every year the festival has grown and this year, it grew more than double what was anticipated. This growth is exciting and to prepare for next years festival the Chestnut Hill Business District is analyzing the 2016 event to find the best ways to accommodate the massive fandom that is Harry Potter. The one thing that fans can count on is that 2017 will bring excitement and continued authenticity to the festival while being able to accommodate a much larger crowd.

If you would like to attend next year’s event, note that the Pub Crawl tickets sold out in less than 8 minutes this year and will probably sell out just as fast or faster next year. I would recommend signing up for the Chestnut Hill newsletter so that you can be the first to hear about the festival!  


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