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.

The first-ever PotterVerse convention kicks off in Baltimore today, drawing thousands of Harry Potter enthusiasts to Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace in the Inner Harbor to celebrate the magical world created by author J.K. Rowling. The event’s website says it’s a three-day convention in honor of her work “and the entire world of Wizards and Fantasy that she created within the ‘Harry Potter’ book series, and beyond.”

In addition to cosplay, attendees can enjoy speeches from some of the actors who’ve portrayed Rowling’s characters in her subsequent eight blockbuster movies, as well as dance parties, magic-themed classes and workshops where participants can craft their own robes or wands, and learn about self-publishing their books.

Among the thespians attending for talks and photo ops: Natalia Tena, who played the witch Nymphadora Tonks starting with “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” and then in four later movies; Sean Biggerstaff, who portrayed quidditch team capatain Oliver Wood in three films; and Devon Murray, who played Harry Potter’s classmate Seamus Finnigan in all eight movies.

The event is notably open to non-wizards, too. Avid readers will recall that muggles – ordinary folk not endowed with magical powers at birth – are an important demographic in the wizarding world. PotterVerse also family-friendly, with plenty of activities planned each day for children.

Click here to peruse the full schedule of programming. PotterVerse kicks off at 1 p.m. today.

Given that Renaissance Harborplace fits about several thousand people, a fraction of what the nearby Baltimore Convention Center can handle, you shouldn’t expect crowds of BronyCon proportions. Just beware of stepping on any witches’ toes if you do head to the harbor, or be sure to bring a wand and robes if you’d like to blend in.

Ethan McLeod
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