Harry Potter event series expected to be popular

Nate Lessler

Students should not be surprised if Whitman starts to take on qualities of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry over the upcoming week. WEB and KWCW’s “The Witching Hour” are cooperating to produce a series of Harry Potter-themed events. The series started on Nov. 7th and will continue until the release of the first part of the seventh Harry Potter film. The events, which WEB expects to be popular, will include everything from a Quidditch match to a Scavenger hunt for horcruxes to a Harry Potter themed feast in Jewett Dining Hall.

The idea for the event series originated during a brainstorm amongst WEB members at the start of the year.

“[We realized] that there is this whole month leading up to the seventh movie coming out and that we should do [some activities] . . . and it sort of grew from there to three weeks of activities,” said WEB special events coordinator sophomore Kelley Hall. “It’s a little nerve-wracking just thinking about how many events are happening in such a short amount of time,” said Hall.

Sara Rasmussen and Mehera Nori, the hosts of KWCW’s The Witching Hour, also had the idea to host Harry Potter related activities before the movie’s opening and joined Hall to coordinate the event when they heard of WEB’s plan.

“The challenging part [has been] having to condense our love for Harry Potter and all the events we wanted to do,” said Nori “When we first started planning we were just like spitballing outrageous [ideas for events] that we wanted to do, which ultimately were not feasible.”

“We wanted the Pio to print as the Daily Prophet!” said Rasmussen jokingly.

Luckily, the event coordinators were able successfully condense their creative ideas down into a series of six events and two radio broadcasts by The Witching Hour.

Coordinating the Great Hall Feast, which will occur in Jewett Dining Hall on Nov. 17, was easier than the team had originally expected. Most of the Jewett chefs had read the Harry Potter series and were very willing to cook English food and Harry Potter themed deserts.

But many of the events have provided large challenges for the coordinators. Quidditch, which occurred on Nov. 7th and involved students running around on broomsticks, throwing balls and chasing after runners wearing gold,  was particularly difficult to organize.

“Its hard to be out [in November]. We are at the mercy of the weather,” said Hall prior to the event. “We are going to have four games going at once . . . we are going to need 16 hula hoops, and a bunch of brooms . . . It’s just a lot of equipment.”

Rasmussen noted that the part of the difficulty came from a turnout that was much larger than they had originally expected.

“[Getting] equipment has been a challenge for the Quidditch tournament because we had way more interest than we thought we would,” said Rasmussen. “It’s actually really exciting that so many people are interested in it.”

So far, the events have proved to be significantly more popular than many other WEB events – something that Hall was hoping for.

“I’m hoping it will draw a lot more people –– people who don’t typically come to WEB events, [so they can] see what we are all about, and maybe get excited about putting on events themselves and maybe working with us.” said Hall. “I think there are definitely a lot of very passionate Harry Potter fans on this campus, and. . . we are really lucky to be able to tap into that resource and that energy and excitement that comes with the nature of event and doesn’t require a lot of external hype from us.”