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Wizardfest organizers to meet with community, business groups

Some muggles are looking to bring the world of Harry Potter to the streets of Ironton.

On Sunday, the organizers of the first Ironton Wizardfest are looking to meet with community groups and local business owners to learn about the festival scheduled for November.

The meeting will cover the expectations for the festival, the layout, planned events and attractions.

Brad Bear, one of the festival organizers, said that the goal is to get as much of the community involved as possible.

“We are not really sure what that looks like just yet,” he said. “We have some ideas, but we want people to come to the table and see where they fit or they might want to do.”

Bear said the goal is to bring more people into Ironton.

“We want to have a festival people can really geek out with their fandom,” he said. “In doing so, it should attract a fair number of traffic into Ironton.”

He said the meeting is to educate the downtown business owners and organizations to what their role could be within the festival.

“It is not a pitch fest where we are trying to get sponsors,” Bear said. “It is ‘This is what we are doing and why.’ Although the why is pretty easy-because it is cool. We want to have fun with this and we want other people to have fun with it.”

Bear said he wants people to know how Potter fans differ from other festival goers.

“Because it is a different crowd, I think they are more apt to go out into the community and explore things outside the walls of the festival,” he said. “Potter fans are a curious bunch. We want to help owners better attract people to their stores.”

Bear said that the meeting is designed for business owners and organizations, rather than for the fans of Harry Potter.

“Our Facebook page, Ironton Wizardfest, is the best way for fans to connect with us,” he said, adding their web site will be launching next week. “There is a lot of initial interest, in the past two weeks we have had over 2,200 people mark themselves as interested in coming to the festival.”

Bear added that the organizers are looking to create partnerships with the business owners and that is why they are doing this meeting so far in advance of the festival.

Other organizers of the event include Chad Freeman, Josh Day, Laura Bayes, Matthew Delong, Melanie Jeannine, Richard Fisher and Rick Jansen.

The meeting will be at 3 p.m. at Mailroom Studios in the Goldchamp building, which is directly across from Wendy’s, on Fourth Street in downtown Ironton.