Fourth time is a charm

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 5, 2022

Wizardfest returns to Ironton in November

Rejoice, Potterheads, Wizardfest is returning to Ironton on Nov. 12-13.

This is the fourth year for the Harry Potter fan event, which had to take 2020 off because state pandemic restrictions prohibited large gatherings of people. But the event returned in 2021 and it was more popular than ever.

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“Last year was an anomaly, everyone wanted to get out really for the first time,” Brad Bear, one of the organizers of the event, said. “So, this year might be a little more subdued.”

Last year, thousands of fans filled the streets of downtown Ironton. Many were in costumes that were so good that it was hard to tell who was a fan and who was a professional cosplayer.

While the announcement has been made, many of the details are still being worked out.

Bear can’t say who the celebrity attendees are yet, because negotiations aren’t finalized yet.

“I am literally in the middle of two emails about that,” he said, but wouldn’t allow The Ironton Tribune to peek and see who he was chatting with.

“Get off my emails,” he said, with a laugh. “I officially can’t say who the celebrities are because I have to wait until the deals are approved. But I will announce them as soon as I possibly can.”

He did throw out a vague hint that one is “a guest I think everyone will be excited about because you see them in all eight films and they are a big character. I will announce it as soon as I possibly can.”

Among the returning favorites are the cosplay group Cos-Ohana and Bear said they are working on new performance ideas for Wizardfest, the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana LEGO Users Group will bring back their impressively large Harry Potter displays inside the City Center and the H-P Ohio group will return with their stage show at the Ro-Na theater.

Also returning is of course, the Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia, the BARKer Farm’s exotic animals and Gary Bussa, who goes by the name Dr. Des Coveries, will bring along his collection of snakes, lizards, turtles and other creatures.

And the scavenger hunt will be back. Bear promises there will be fantastic prizes for the winners.

Bear would say that they are bringing back other fan favorite events “with a bit of a twist.”

That includes adding a second escape room since the tickets for the lone escape room were selling out quickly, trying to find a way to increase access to the film celebrities, and increasing the immersiveness of the visiting professors from Hoggstowne School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

“And we will be adding more things,” Bear said. “But I can’t tell you what they are yet because I don’t even know what they are yet. So it is a mystery because I don’t have the answers yet.”

Even as they work out details for celebrity appearances and activities, the organizers are also selling vendor spots for the event.

“Last year, those spots sold out quickly and even though we only made the announcement recently, this year’s vendors spots are selling pretty fast. We are almost out of them,” Bear said. “But on Aug. 8, we open it up to new vendors if there are any spaces left.”

Tickets are on sale now at along with schedules and more.