Just got back from the opening ceremony of Harry Potter Weekend in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. What a cool thing this is. The whole neighborhood is transformed into Hogsmeade Village for the weekend. McNally’s Tavern is now the Leaky Cauldron (according to the sign on the facade). The sporting goods shop is now Quality Quidditch Supplies. Et cetera. Tomorrow (Saturday) at Chestnut Hill College they’re having an actual quidditch tournament (says my Potter-geek son Matthew, “Dad, that’s not a joke; they’ve adapted the rules for Muggles.”) And, happily, a Harry Potter Pub Crawl.
At tonight’s inagural festivity, they were supposed to release Hedwig the Owl to signal the start of the weekend, but it was not to be. “Hedwig is stuck on the Jersey Turnpike, I’m sorry to say,” reported the mistress of ceremonies. Alas. Chris Christie, free that owl, would you?