Return to Hogwarts (WITH GALLERY)

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Attendance up for fourth Harry Potter fanfest

It was a bit cold and rainy for this past weekend’s Ironton Wizardfest, but it didn’t stop the fans of all things Harry Potter from coming to town to celebrate.

“It seems like attendance is up a bit and everyone seems to be having a lot of fun, despite the rain,” said Brad Bear, one of the organizers of Ironton Wizardfest. “It is a little chilly, but it is good cloak weather.”

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And, this year, there were more events for the fans to enjoy. The Lego display in the lobby of the City Center was bigger than ever. There were two escape rooms to figure out.

More space in the Ro-Na Theater to explore with a sitting room upstairs and, of course, a dungeon in the basement.

A class about potions was held in the Brumberg Building and more streets were blocked off for vendors and events.

“Everybody seems to be having a really good time,” Bear said.

on Saturday afternoon. “They are enjoying themselves and that is the whole point — what we want is for people to come out and enjoy themselves in Ironton and have good time.”

And it was hard to tell the difference between the cosplayers hired to look like Harry Potter characters and attendees who dressed up for the fanfest.

“The cosplay is on point this year,” Bear said. “It is elevated beyond what we thought it would ever be.”

One of the smallest attendees was five-year-old Adalyn Widinayer, of Wilmington, who was dressed up as a Hogwarts student.

Asked why she had traveled so far, she said for “Harry Potter festival!”

And when asked what her favorite part was, she held her recently purchased Time-Turner, a magical device that looks like an hour glass and allows the wearer to travel through time.

And if the device worked for real, where would she go?

The answer was to the time of one of her favorite memories.

She was awoken at night to take her father to the airport so he could go to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for U.S. Marine Corps training. She really enjoyed seeing the skyline and all the skyscrapers of the city lit up.

“I really liked the city lights,” she said.