Events Roundup: Drive-in Movies, a Virtual “Harry Potter” Cast Reunion, and Arts Festivals
Happy birthday, Mr. Harry Potter! Who doesn’t love celebrating their big day by doing all kinds of fun activities? Trivia contests, dinner events, and birthday bashes will take over your Friday evening, and trust us when we say you don’t want to miss any of them. There is a lot to get through, so let’s get started with this week’s Events Roundup.
Harry Potter’s Birthday Events – July 31
Carson City Library Learning Challenge
The public library in Carson City, Nevada, is hosting an end-of-the-summer learning challenge. The birthday bash will be held over Zoom, with several events throughout the day. Starting at 10:00 a.m. PDT, there will be a herbology class, followed by wandlore at 12:00 p.m. PDT, and other events will follow. Check the event page for details about how to log on to the Zoom meeting.
Plant City Celebration and Charity Event
From noon to 7:00 p.m. EDT, Plant City, Florida, will create its very own Platform 9 3/4 for some family-friendly fun. Businesses in the area will offer Harry Potter–themed deals and sales. There will also be a costume contest and photo opportunities. The Plant City Main Street Facebook page can provide more details.
Dover Trivia Contest
A Facebook Live trivia game from the Dover, Massachusetts, library is sure to challenge every bit of knowledge you think you have. Starting at 4:00 p.m. EDT, you’ll have to have your thinking caps ready. You can follow along on the Facebook stream, or you can play to win on the Kahoot app. Instructions will be provided if you wish to join the fun. Check out all the info on the event website.
Spokane Trivia Contest
The more trivia, the merrier! The Spokane County Library District is offering a virtual trivia night in Spokane, Washington, starting at 6:30 p.m. PDT. The event will be streamed on the library district’s Facebook page, but you’ll have to register to participate. For more information, check out the event page.
Witches and Wizards–Themed Dinner
The Bennett-Curtis House in Grant Park, Illinois, is hosting a dinner party for the ages. The festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m. CDT. Guests will start by being Sorted into their Hogwarts Houses and will be provided with drinks and treats before dinner. Scheduled activities include photo opportunities with characters, trivia, and a race for the House Cup. It’s an all-ages event, so don’t forget your kids. For more information and reservations, you can go to the event website.
Harry Potter Birthday Performance
The Drunk Texts cast is hosting a very… unique performance for Harry’s birthday this year. The virtual performance of Harry the First, the Boy Who Hath Liv’d is to be livestreamed on Facebook beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The play follows Harry and his friends through their first year at Hogwarts, but it’s all done in drunk Shakespearean speech. Donations via Venmo are encouraged, especially if you want your favorite performers to get tipsy. More information can be found on the event page. Huzzah!
Drive In for Harry’s Birthday
Head on down to the drive-in theater at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, for some movie magic. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will be the show of the evening, beginning at 8:45 p.m. EDT. Tickets are sold per car rather than per person, and concessions are also available for purchase. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 will be shown on August 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 will be shown on August 2. Ticket and snack packages can be found on the Foxwoods Resort and Casino website.
Harry Potter Cast Reunion at Wizard World Virtual Experiences
Hold your Sorting Hat down because this event will surely blow your mind. A virtual reunion of various Harry Potter cast members will take place this weekend. Wizard World Virtual Experiences is bringing you Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), David Bradley (Argus Filch), Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprout), Guy Henry (Pius Thicknesse), Josh Herdman (Gregory Goyle), Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe), Julian Glover (Aragog), and Tolga Safer (Igor Karkaroff’s aide).
A free live Q&A will begin Friday, July 31 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. You can stream the panel on Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube. But that’s not even the best part. You can purchase tickets for a two-minute, private, one-on-one video chat with any of the aforementioned actors. *Mind blows.* Tickets cost as much as $100 for the two-minute sessions, which will be held on August 3 beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Get your tickets while you still can. All the information you need can be found on the Wizard World website.
July and August Events
Diagon Alley Takeover
Downtown Keene, New Hampshire, is getting a makeover. From July 28 to August 2, a portion of the downtown area will turn into the famous Diagon Alley. A variety of shops are getting into the magical spirit and will be part of the event. Organizers are promising an “immersive and engaging” experience for everyone. A full list of merchants and stores that will be included in the transformation can be found on the event Facebook page, and attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks while they shop.
Emma Clark Library Virtual Classes
All through the month of August, kids can access a variety of online classes from the Emma Clark Library in East Setauket, New York. One of the classes will teach kids how to draw a Fwooper, the brightly colored bird seen in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The session has been prerecorded and is available until the end of August. You can see the full list of online sessions on the library website.
Virtual Film Festival
The Carlow Arts Festival is taking to YouTube to bring you the film festival From the Arctic to Australia this year. The festival allows audiences to experience 3D movies from their own homes. To get the full effect, you’ll have to buy a 3D headset from the festival website for about €10. It works with your smartphone to create a virtual world you wouldn’t normally see. Colin Farrell (Percival Graves) narrates one of the films, entitled Gloomy Eyes. From the Arctic to Australia will be available for viewing the entire month of August on the Carlow Arts Festival’s YouTube page.
Drive-in Movie Theater
It’s time to go to the movies as they did way back when: drive-in theaters! The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center is setting up a site for moviegoers who are itching to get out to the cinemas again. Through August 2, visitors will be able to see a selection of films being played on different nights. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will be played on Sunday, August 2 at 9:00 p.m. EDT. Tickets are priced at $25 per car instead of per person. You can get tickets and a full selection of movies on the drive-in website.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in China
Several Hollywood movies are headed to China this summer. All eight Harry Potter movies will preview at the Shanghai International Film Festival from July 25 to August 2, allowing a select audience preview of the films before they are re-released in theaters throughout China on August 14. A 4K restoration of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 3D will also make its debut on August 14. This comes as a celebration of the franchise’s 20-year anniversary. Several other acclaimed Hollywood movies, such as Jojo Rabbit, 1917, Bad Boys for Life, and Interstellar, will also be released in China across several dates as theaters begin opening.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in Ireland
The EastSide Arts Festival is bringing you 11 days of music, theater, storytelling, and various other art media during their session from August 6 to August 16. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, many of the program’s sessions can be enjoyed online or in person throughout Belfast. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be featured on August 16 at one of the in-person locations. The full program, as well as other information you need to attend the rest of the festival, can be found online.
We hope you get to experience many of these wonderful events and would like to wish Harry a happy, happy 40th birthday. Stay safe!
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