The magic returns to Kent town center this weekend, as magic weekend brings Harry Potter-themed activities back to downtown.
The event, organized by Main Street Kentwill feature a non-competitive fun run, pub crawl and a variety of family activities on Saturday including miniature golf, vendor village, costume contest, wand making and more.
Heather Malarcik, executive director of Main Street Kent, said the event, once called “Potterfest”, had changed over the years. The festival, which was first held to mark the release of a book in the Harry Potter series, has changed its name to comply with copyright restrictions.
“It’s evolved to the point where businesses have something special to offer, and it really brings the community to experience downtown,” she said. “We are hoping for an eventful day.”
The festivities kick off Friday night with the 6th annual “Run that Shall Not Be Named”, a fun non-competitive run on the campus of Kent State University. Costumed participants will begin the 5km loop at the Lester Lefton Esplanade.
Friday activities also include the Wobbly Wizard Bar Crawl. Attendees can check in at the Water Street Tavern between 5 and 7 p.m. and will be offered a Wobbly Wizard pub crawl “pass”, personalized glassware, house-colored jello shots and doodles. other “magical gifts”. Registered guests will also be entered into a raffle. .
On Saturday, a vendor village will be set up along Erie Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The street will be closed and vendors will be selling event-themed crafts, including licensed Harry Potter merchandise.
A variety of activities are also planned at Hometown Bank Plaza, including a wand-making workshop by the Kent Junior Mothers, the art of origami, a chance to meet the Kent Soaring Black Squirrels quidditch team State University and photo ops with Harry the Black Squirrel.
A-Squared will offer themed painting classes at 175 E. Erie St. featuring Haggard Man; The Dumbledoor Man and the Fawx Bird; and paintings of fantastical hypogriffs. Registration links are available on Main Street’s website.
Those wanting a break from the heat can come inside the Kent Stage and watch ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ at 1pm on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a hot day,” Malarcik said.
Bell Tower Brewing Co. will host a ball at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Guests are encouraged to wear formal attire, including evening dresses and house colors.
Other activities include a costume contest at Dan Smith Park for adults and children; a “witchcraft stone search” for themed painted rocks; an herbal workshop at North Water Brewing; Three dozen special offers of merchandise, menu items and activities from area businesses are listed on Main Street’s Web page for the event. Malarcik said some offerings are new, like butterbeer flavored popcorn at Popped.
Journalist Diane Smith, who has read all of the Harry Potter books, seen all of the movies, and been sorted into Hufflepuff House, can be reached at 330-298-1139 or [email protected]