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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

Yesterday was a big day for Potterheads. It was Harry Potter's birthday. As you know, I spend a lot of time planning parties and traveling for Potter-related activities and helping the Harry Potter Alliance. This marked our 5th annual Potter party at my house and though it was pretty hot this week, we still made it work, with some adjustments.

This year's theme was Triwizard Tournament and we had a Goblet of Fire that guests put their names into to compete in a task that would earn them points for their schools. Instead of the usual Hogwarts houses, we sorted into Hogwarts Hufflepuff and Gryffindor, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. 

I dressed as a mermaid, to break out of my wizard attire.

My friend Melisa took this pic, which is one of the very few I have, and probably the best bad one :)

Eric dressed as Viktor Krum during the task in the Black Lake. Did I mention it was 95 degrees outside? This was our creative hot-weather outfit.

One of the tasks I set was to look around the grounds for Rita Skeeter, who was trying to get the "inside scoop" on Harry's life. I placed beetles around with random words that could be rearranged to build a headline for the Daily Prophet.

And in addition to my normal goodie bags for everyone in attendance, the winning group (Gryffindor, for the third year in a row) got to take home a Triwizard cup and some other fun prizes.

On Sunday, Eric and I attended a Harry Potter literary tea at a cute little tea shop down the road from us. The place was decked out very well and we had some wonderful conversations with other Potterholics.

The Great Hall was set with menus, little broom pens for trivia (which I rocked) and there were even floating candles. 

The spread was incredible and included cauldron cakes pumpkin pasties, a golden snitch, and other delicious British bites. There was nothing I wouldn't eat again. It was all delicious and complementary.

Each setting came with your choice of tea, which were themed for the Hogwarts houses, plus there was bonus Butterbeer and Butterbeer fudge after, trivia with prizes and a potions class where you got to mix your own tea blend. So fun! We have a second tea set for this next weekend, which I'll definitely update here.

On Harry's actual birthday, I volunteered with the Harry Potter Alliance to help organize costume contests at a old school turned bar. This was in their small gym and the staff outdid themselves making long house tables, which were all completely full by the time I got there a little after the shindig started. I'm guessing there were over 200 people. 

The McMenamin's staff had a special menu for this fundraiser, which included both alcoholic and non-alcoholic Butterbeer, treacle tarts, pumpkin pasties and a dragon egg (Scotch egg).

I dressed in my best Quidditch robe for the occasion. Aside from giving away awesome prizes, the HPA collected school supply donations and money from raffles for those prizes. They raised over $600 in cash and there were so many supplies, they barely fit into the one volunteer's SUV. Potterheads are THE BEST.

I was busy helping to wrangle children for the 11 and under costume contest, but here are some of the best costumes from the adult round. Everyone went all out and were super creative. You'll see on the left the Whomping Willow.

I'll be headed to Universal Hollywood later this month and then to Philly in October, where we hope to catch the renamed and re-structured Harry Potter Festival, now called Wizards and Wands. In between all that, I'll be volunteering for the HPA booth at Rose City ComicCon to bring more Potter goodness to the masses.

Stay tuned for more awesome Harry Potter-related stuff coming this year

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