Wizards and muggles and fans of all ages will return this weekend for the third consecutive Chestertown Harry Potter Festival in this colonial river town — a fun-filled event on September 30 – October 2 with free and ticketed events to benefit the Garfield Center for the Arts and the Kent County Fund through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. The festival invites fans to enjoy the town’s local arts and activities while celebrating the magic of Harry Potter.
Where: Chestertown historic district including the Garfield Center for the Arts, Fountain Park and the shops in the surrounding area. Maps with events, addresses and the Scavenger Hunt will be available at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 210 High Street.
Schedule of Events
Friday September 30
4:30-5:30pm –Book Talk – Dr. Patrick McCauley, author of Into the Pensieve: The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter at Chestertown’s “Flourish and Blotts” (The Bookplate, 112 S. Cross Street) from 4:30-5:30pm.
6:00-9:00pm – Festival Kick-Off Party at “Hogwarts” (the Garfield Center for the Arts, 210 High Street): Wands, robes and your house colors are ideal attire as fans of all ages can enjoy magic, trivia, wizard rock and costumed fun. A $5 fee at the door for adults; free for children 12 and under.
Saturday October 1
9:00am-12:00pm – Kidditch for players of all ages and skills who want to play and learn the game from experienced Quidditch players at Covell Kidditch Pitch (between Cross and Queen Streets).
9:00am-3:00pm – Ollivander’s Wand Co-op–The wand chooses you! Explore numerous handcrafted wands for all sizes and experiences at Robert Ortiz Studio, 207C South Cross Street.
10:00am-5:00pm – Quidditch Tournament Day 1 – College and club teams from the region will be hosted by DC Quidditch and compete for the prized Chestertown Quidditch Cup on Saturday and Sunday in Wilmer Park, on the waterfront.
10:00am-3:00pm – Scavenger Hunt –Pick up your map at the Garfield Center for the Arts for a self-guided tour of downtown Chestertown’s shops transformed into magical-themed retailers inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. Street theatre, Wandlore at Ollivander’s, Potions Class, and more will be yours to enjoy.
10:00am-4:00pm – Potter in the Park will feature free activities in central Fountain Park for muggles of all ages, including dueling, wizardy crafts, face painting, magic, wizard rock music, photo opportunities as well as themed food and vendors. Wizard crafts and licensed merchandise will be available throughout the day.
3:00-3:45pm – Costume Contest– open to those who register and draws a big crowd to the outdoor Fountain Park stage.
All Day – Magical Memorabilia Collection at the Kent County Historical Society, corner of High and Cross Street.
Ticketed events: A highlight of the weekend that require an advance purchase online.Reporters and photographers may request a press pass to observe these events.
10:30am – 12:00pm and 4:00-5:30pm Kids’Hogwarts Experience at The Garfield for wizards (ages 8-13 only) Students wear the sorting hat and take lessons from wizardry professors.($35 – SOLD OUT)
10:30am-12pm and 4:00-5:30pm –Madam Malkin’s High Tea, a magical event with delectable confections for Potter fans of all ages at the Occasions Boardroom, 327 Cannon Street from A souvenir festival teacup & saucer, costume corner plus edible wands, canary creams, cauldron cakes, pasties, bludgers, and a tasty golden snitch. ($35 advance ticket – SOLD OUT)
6:30-9:30pmHouse Party at the Hogshead (age 21+) pub event at The Fish Whistle, 98 Cannon Street from with themed food and drinks, wizard rock dance party, trivia contest, and time to show your house colors. ($35 tickets in advance; $40 at the door)
7:30 – 10:30pm – Nearly Headless Nick’s 524th Deathday Party– Celebrate the death of Sir Nicholas, Hogwart’s most beloved ghostly character, at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Dancing, Harry Potter trivia, Pin-the-Head-on-the-Nearly-Headless-Nick and more. Refreshments will be available for sale. Free snacks. ($10 tickets online and at the door).
Sunday October 2
7:30-9:30am – Pre-Tournament Pancake Breakfast at Heron Point at 501 E. Campus Ave.($10 advance ticket)
10:00am-5:00pm – Quidditch Tournament Day 2 – Fantasy-style tournament. Come play for your favorite house team in Wilmer Park!
10:00am – 5K “Queen of the Roses” Race -with Alpha Omicron Piof Washington College at Wilmer Park on the waterfront. The Golden Snitch will be awarded to the best Harry Potter costumed participant. Runners and walkers can select their Hogwarts house (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin) and enjoy refreshments including Weasley Wizard snacks and Butterbeer (soda) after the race. Register online https://www.trisportsevents.com or 10am on site.
For festival updates and details, accommodation recommendations, and directions visit www.chestertownhpfest.org or the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival on Facebook.
The Chestertown Harry Potter Festival is organized by an all-volunteer committee of loyal Potter fans to celebrate the spirit of Harry Potter and promote the local community and its arts.Warner Bros. Entertainment and J.K. Rowling are not associated with or responsible for the festival in any way, and the inspired group of fans who created it hope they won’t be sent to Azkaban.
Located in the historic district in Chestertown, The Garfield Center for the Arts (www.garfieldcenter.org) is a cultural organization whose mission is to nurture, celebrate, and support arts and artists through performance and education.
The Mid-Shore Community Foundation (www.mscf.org) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that supports nonprofit organizations and charitable efforts that enhance the quality of life for residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, Maryland. The Fund for Kent County is MSCF’s permanent source of discretionary grant funding for Kent County initiatives.