Tag: harry potter

Thousands of Harry Potter Fanatics to Convene Downtown this Weekend

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A replica of the Hogwarts castle at Universal Studios in Orlando. Photo by David R. Tribble, via Wikimedia Commons.

Don’t be too surprised if you find gaggles of witches and wizards perusing the Inner Harbor this weekend.

Sorting Hat Goes Wild at Harry Potter Premiere

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The final Harry Potter movie premiered this weekend, making a lot of people happy (new HP movie!) and sad (last HP movie!) and happy (a chance to wear a wacky costume!) all at once. I tried to buy a ticket to the midnight screening at the Senator two weeks in advance, and I could swear I heard the online ticketing system laughing at me. This is one of those events that probably sold out even before they made the movie. (I watched it Sunday afternoon instead, and there was still a packed house and at least two kids in full Hogwarts uniform.)

But the real fans used whatever magic or manipulation to get a ticket. Kids were lined up outside the theater as early as 6 p.m. And one brave soul, Justin Gietka, ventured out on opening night in full Sorting Hat regalia. Yeah, you read that right. He watched the movie dressed as a human-sized hat.  In his own words:

“I was mobbed by preteen girls in costumes. Posed for a thousand pictures, was interviewed by high school papers, college papers and The Sun. Got completely wasted at Zen West, dressed as a hat. Danced across the stage at The Senator while a thousand kids chanted SORTING HAT, SORTING HAT and tripped and fell on my hatface. Sorted a hundred kids into Huffledrunk,  Fluffinpuff, Slitherhook, Fluffindore. And passed out an hour into the movie.”

And maybe that’s the real Harry Potter magic, at least in this muggle world we live in:  only J.K. Rowling can convince grown men to dress up as giant hats.

(Full disclosure:  Gietka is my roommate. The sorting hat costume is currently in my living room, looking a little worse for wear.)

Take a Look at Charm City Cakes’ Harry Potter Confection

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Charm City Cakes was tapped to do the baking for Monday’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere in New York City — marking the third time the Baltimore-based bakery has been called on to create a Potter-themed cake (they also created cakes for the LA premiere of Order of the Phoenix and the New York premiere of Half-Blood Prince).  We chatted with CCC’s Mary Alice to get the inside scoop (er, slice?) on this epic piece of pastry.

The cake itself is more than three feet tall and three feet wide, and uses all those tricky fondant techniques (and perhaps a few spells?) to recreate a besieged Hogwarts in confectionery form.  But worry not:  the cake itself didn’t taste anything like burned wizard castle; it was actually a lemon poppyseed cake with Italian buttercream icing. Ron Weasley — okay, okay, Rupert Grint — did the cake-cutting honors at the premiere’s afterparty at the Museum of Natural History, and we bet he enjoyed every crumb.

Quidditch: Not Just for Wizards Anymore

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“We have three bludgers instead of two,” says a member of the Johns Hopkins Quidditch team. “That’s pretty much the only other adjustment [from Wizard Quidditch to Muggle Quidditch]. Except for the flying.”

If that paragraph didn’t make any sense to you, then you should put your computer away and go pick up some Harry Potter books. You’re a little behind. For the rest of you:  yes, it’s true, Johns Hopkins has a Quidditch team, and so does the University of Maryland. Yes, plain old muggles like you and me can play. And yes, there are brooms involved.

Muggle Quidditch is something like a combination of rugby, dodgeball, and performance art. The goals are hula hoops; the quaffle is a slightly deflated volleyball; the golden snitch is a person dressed in gold who sprints around and tries not to get caught. As silly as it may sound, quidditch is probably the most popular sport to have been invented in our lifetime. More than two hundred colleges have teams registered with the International Quidditch Association, which was founded in 2007.  Middlebury College’s team has won the Quidditch World Cup for the past four years, which makes them something like the Slytherin of liberal arts colleges.

So if you’re nervous about Potter withdrawal after HP7 Part 2 opens this weekend, never fear – once fall comes around, the Quidditch players will be trotting around campus with their brooms again, and you’re welcome to stop by and cheer them on.

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