Ghoulishly Good “Potter”-Themed Halloween Display in Austin, Texas
It’s that spooky time of year again when things tend to go bump in the night. Strange and sinister events often happen on Halloween in the wizarding world. A troll was discovered in the bathroom, the Chamber of Secrets mysteriously opened, and Nearly Headless Nick celebrated his 500th deathday party. And of course, it’s the day when Sirius Black broke into Gryffindor Tower. But that doesn’t scare us, Muggles.
After all, Halloween is a perfect excuse for us to celebrate all things Potter. But some people take their love of the wizarding world and send it to the next level, like these Austinites who love to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve by creating Potter displays right outside their house.
Joel Pace has been putting up Potter-themed Halloween decorations outside his family home in Austin, Texas, since 2017. Pace started his decorating project “on a whim” to cheer up his wife, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This now-annual Potter display has grown year after year, getting bigger and better.
Pace’s usual Diagon Alley immersive display won’t be on show this year due to safety concerns as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Instead, last year’s Hogwarts Castle drive-by display will make a reappearance. There is so much to see here, such as the Great Hall, the Astronomy Tower, and the marble staircase, to name a few recognizable features. But the castle has also received new add-ons for this year, namely a bell tower and the incorporation of a new castle window, which will show various moving scenes.
Revealing that he often gets asked whether it is an inflatable display, Pace clarified that“it is not inflatable.“ In fact, each piece has been custom-made by Pace and his volunteers. The bricks are painstakingly carved and textured to make them look as lifelike as possible.
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The Austin Potter-themed Halloween display is free to visit. However, the family asks visitors to consider donating to help raise money for these worthy organizations: Foster Angels of Central Texas, Variety of Texas, and ZACH Theatre – The Pre-Professional Company (PPC). Visitors donating over $30 can sign up to receive an original keepsake by professional photographer Casey Chapman Ross, who will be on-site on October 29 and October 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Visitors can see the display until mid-November. After that, the scene will be transformed from Halloween to Christmas and the Yule Ball. The family asks that people not visit on Saturday, October 30, since the neighborhood is holding a private event.
The daily light show, which will illuminate the display, commences at dusk (currently 7–7:30 p.m.) and runs every half hour until 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 p.m. on weekends. Pace has advised that people who get out of their vehicles to view the display should wear masks and not congregate in groups. For all other information, check out the Diagon Alley Austin Halloween House Facebook page.
— DiagonAlleyATX (@DiagonAlleyATX) October 19, 2021
If you’re close to Austin, Texas, this is definitely a hauntingly Halloween must-see. We’d love to know what you think of it if you go.