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The Stylus' favorite fall pastimes

by Margaret Stewart - Managing Editor

Wizarding Festival

Wed, Oct 30th 2019 11:00 am

The weekend of October 26 saw the annual Wizarding Festival take the streets of Ithaca, New York. 

The streets smelled of poutine, pulled pork and other food truck delicacies. They also featured drinks like “Better Brew,” a spinoff of Harry Potter’s Butterbeer and “Frog Spawn,” which was a lemon-lime soda with frozen basil seeds that definitely looked as though people were drinking frog eggs.

There were vendors lining both sides of Ithaca Commons spanning across three different blocks selling items like wands, costumes and of course, broomsticks. Broomsticks made another appearance as Quidditch matches were played throughout the day by athletes on rollerblades, a safer alternative than running with a broomstick between their legs.

Continuing to pay homage to J.K. Rowling’s series, there was an 8 ft. tall Hagrid. Participants cosplayed as other iconic characters from babies dressed as Hedwig to Madeye-Moodys, Severus Snapes, and Rita Skeeters. The inspiration certainly wasn’t confined to the costumes — there was even a light blue Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe model, identical to the one seen in the movies.

Though it was expected for local businesses to take part in the street festival, I didn’t expect to see a local charter school partaking in the action. The school brought a virtual reality technical aspect to the festival. Participants had to download an app called: “Gorgekeep Portal” which served as the gateway to Ithaca’s wizarding school Gorgekeep — a nod to Hogwarts. Anyone who has heard of or slept through the Harry Potter series would be able to spot the similarities and inspiration for this festival. The festival started as a strictly Harry Potter fest a few years ago and has recently been sued by Warner Bros. for its likeness. It was incredibly interesting to see the way vendors and food trucks worked around the names of copyrighted favorites in order to give festival-goers everything they could possibly hope for as far as a magical, wizarding fest.

Photo of the Week

Taken by Mathieu Starke, staff photographer

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