Wednesday, July 11, 2007

How Harry Potter has taken over my life...

Long time, no post, but we've been unbelievably busy here with school visits and summer reading at the Plaza Library. And now our world is all about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We're planning a massive event. Currently I'm re-reading/listening to the books so I'll be all prepped for the new book.

Our Event site All this happens from 10pm until 1am on Friday July 20th, until Saturday July 21st. (D-Day basically).

We closed off reservation with hundreds and hundreds of people last week. In case anyone needs any last minute ideas, here is what we're doing. Basically we're transforming the entire library into Hogwarts Academy. Children (arriving at 10pm) will check in. As they go in to the event, they'll receive a bag with a copy of the "Daily Prophet" outlining the different activities and a parent evaluation. 20 bags will contain a "golden ticket" (we're mixing our books yes I know) good for one free copy of the new book. They will also draw out a nametag from the sorting hat. The nametag will have one of four crests on it, effectively sorting them into the appropriate house. The students may then attend the following classes at their own pace (Note I say children, but I mean kids ages 6 through 17 with their adults):

  • Divination: there will be a fortune teller or two, as well as instructions for palm reading and those little fish things that curl up in your palm to tell you a fortune.
  • Snacks: Lots of very cool snacks to choose from, including pretzel wands.
  • History of Magic: Giant trivia contest as teams, prizes available
  • Care of Magical Creatures:Real Live Owls! WOOOOOO! And an owl craft.
  • Common Room: If you can find a staff member to tell you the password, you can grab a cushion and relax while watching the third movie.
  • OWL and NEWT testing: Professor McGonagall will be on hand to test students (word searches and the like) who will recieve a reward (small prize)
  • Wizard's Chess: Chess boards set up for fun
  • Herbology: Plant something! (Probably basil in a small pot that children will take home)
  • Potions: This is the class I'm teaching. We'll be making our own bouncing balls out of normal type stuff (elmers glue, borax, etc) that I will relabel as potions ingredients. We will also have sandy candy (edible sand art) for the kids to assemble in test tubes to take home their own "magical ingredients".

I feel like I'm missing something, but probably not. At about 11:30 or so, we'll gather everyone into one massive area. At every class (even the common room), they had a chance to enter a drawing just for participating. We'll pull those winners. (For my potions class, the prize is a crystal growing kit, each prize relates to the class.) We'll do some other fun stuff and then at midnight, Brian Busby will read the first 20 minutes of the new book. The books will be on sale curtesy of Reading Reptile with proceeds going to the Library's Children's Book Fund. No one is obligated to buy the book to come to the party.

The magic is in the details and we're making as many details as we can magical. When you get checked in, it is by a person in costume (all staff is in constume) with a quill checking names on parchment. When you take your OWL test, we have quills to use (beautiful ones too). The decorations are incredible. We want this to be as over the top and incredible as possible, something people will remember and talk about for years.

My costume is pretty cool. I'm Hermione (kinda grownup). I've already got the hair afterall. Knee length gray skirt (had trouble ordering a school girl skirt), gray sweater vest, short sleeved white shirt, Gryffindor tie, black graduation robe. I'll try to post pictures.

It's going to be an amazing, incredible party. But it is also totally consuming my life and that of many of my coworkers. We've been planning for months. Our entire workroom is overflowing with party supplies as is my entryway to my house. It feels like every other word out of my mouth is HP related. There are huge standups counting down the days til the book all over our department. And of course it is all over the news. I'm going to see the movie on Thursday, all I'm reading are the books. It's like a new lifestyle, one that is all Harry Potter all the time. It's insane, but it is also a ton of fun. This is truly a once in a life time event and we want to make it that special, wonderful, magical thing.

It's a testament to how much I love my job and this event that I'm not even a little burnt out yet. 10 days! (well to the book, 9 days to the event)