PIQUA — The Piqua Farmer’s Market was host to dozens of families and literary fans alike as Diagon Valley presented a birthday party in honor of the popular fictional character Harry Potter on Thursday afternoon.
Beka Lindeman, a co-organizer of Diagon Valley, a chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, recently received a grant from the Awesome Piqua chapter of the Awesome Foundation to throw a party at the farmer’s market celebrating the birthday of Harry Potter, the protagonist of the popular “Harry Potter” fiction series by J.K. Rowling.
The event — which was days away from Harry Potter’s July 31 birthday in the series — had 10 different stations inspired by classes, stores, and places from the series, including Eeylops Owl Emporium, the owl post, the owlery, Ollivander’s Wand Shop, herbology, potions, Quidditch training, the unrestricted section, divination, and defense against the dark arts.
Missy Rivera, a co-organizer of Diagon Valley, said the event quickly exceeded expectations.
“We’re just so excited,” Rivera said. “It’s beyond what we had hoped for.”
The event allowed Diagon Valley to connect with current and new Harry Potter fans. At the first station, Rivera and Lindeman were handing out free books, including numerous copies of the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” with handwritten notes to the next generation of Harry Potter readers.
Attendees also received “report cards” with a list of the activity stations on them, and if they finished each of the activities, they were entered into a drawing for one of the raffle prizes.
“We’ve had some great community partners,” Rivera said. In addition to Awesome Piqua’s contribution, Dobo’s Delights donated cupcakes and Turntable Cafe provided Butterbeer — a fictional drink mentioned in the Harry Potter series — in addition to Readmore’s Hallmark donating balloons and Susie’s Big Dipper providing ice cream treats.
“It’s amazing,” Rivera said. Rivera, who is also a librarian, was excited about sharing and spreading the Harry Potter fandom and said that she loved to see that spark in children’s eyes when they first begin reading the Harry Potter series or other books.
Darla Liette of Piqua attended the Harry Potter birthday party with her grandson Jacob Jones, who was excited about getting the free book.
“He loved the books, and they gave a book out,” Liette said. “He loves that.”
Christine Hinkle of Dayton, previously of Troy, volunteered at the event at a photobooth station where attendees could take a picture with wizard robes in front of a background of Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross station, a reference to the platform in the series where young wizards would board a train to the wizarding school of Hogwarts.
“I heard about this, and I had to come up,” Hinkle said about the event.
When asked what her favorite thing about Harry Potter was, Hinkle said it was the community surrounding the popular series.
“I have yet to meet somebody who is a Harry Potter fan who’s not a nice person,” Hinkle said.
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