Return to the wizarding world

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Wizardfest takes over downtown Ironton for fifth year

By Mark Shaffer

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The Ironton Tribune

A pair of Death Eaters patrol the streets of Ironton on Saturday during the fifth annual Wizardfest. (Ironton Tribune | Mark Shaffer)

Once again, wizards and Death Eaters and muggles mingled on the streets of Ironton as Wizardfest returned this weekend.

This is the fifth year for the for the Harry Potter movie-themed event and its fans filled the downtown area. And they returned in greater numbers, with parking at a premium along the Third Street area from Madison Street to Center Street.

Brad Bear, one of the organizers of the event, said it went really well and he was quite happy with the weather.

In years past, the weather has been cold and a bitty rainy.

This year, it was merely chilly November weather.

“We’ve never had weather like this. It is absolutely perfect robe weather,” Bear said with a laugh. “Everyone seems to be having a good time, it is upbeat and happy. It’s moving along great.”

He said a lot of people were surprised at all that they pulled off this year, since there isn’t a lot of expectation coming to a community festival.

“And when they get here, the level of detail we have all poured into it, I think people are blown away,” he said. “And the Potter fans feel very welcome — this is their people, this is their tribe.”

He added the downtown of Ironton lends itself to creating the atmosphere of the Harry Potter world.

“We have a good vibe here,” Bear said. “And it certainly fits with the Potter universe, because it takes place now and whenever you add the quirkiness of the wizarding world to a downtown where you allowed to take over the streets and owners of some of the vacant buildings allow us dress up their spaces. So, we have a very bustling downtown for the festival, especially for the people that come from out of town.”

He estimated that around 5,000 people attended the two-day event.