Potter mania begins FridayPublished 2:49pm Thursday, November 18, 2010
The new Harry Potter movie is opening Friday and the community is getting in on all the fun with events that tie in to the stories.
Visitors can look around at the museum to find magical creatures and objects mentioned in the Harry Potter books on Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
After the Harry Potter scavenger hunt on Friday, people can head to the West Ridge Mall from 5 to 7 p.m. for Witches, Wizards and Wildlife, where participants can learn about real life spiders, owls and plants.
“It brings all these people together and it’s a great community-building type of activity,” said Missy Hermes, Otter Tail County Historical Society education coordinator.
Muggle historians will research deeper to learn more about the real history behind the objects and creatures in the scavenger hunt. An OTCHS Marauder’s Map will help visitors find their way.
“It really is to make the museum fresh and exciting,” she said. “To give it a new angle, a new approach, and the scavenger hunt will take people all throughout the exhibits.”
Participants will be asked to find 13 items hidden throughout all the exhibits. For instance, the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first Harry Potter movie is red, and the historical society has a red stone sacred to Native Americans featured in one of their exhibits.
And Harry Potter himself produces a stag for his Patronus Charm. The museum may not have a male deer, but it does have a doe in one exhibit.
To take part in the scavenger hunt, visitors pay regular admission, which is $4 for adults and $1 for children.
“I’m hoping it will bring a lot of people into the museum and give them a fresh look,” Hermes said. “This is a little bit different and I think it will be fun not only for a family to do, but for anyone.”
At Witches, Wizards and Wildlife, visitors are invited to come dressed as their favorite witch or wizard and visit with other community members about the legacy of magic and witchcraft in celebration of the release of the latest Harry Potter film.
Participants can examine facts and fictions about the native wildlife and tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Topics include discovering the “magic” required to battle invasive species, learning how “prescribed burns” make way for new plant life like a phoenix rising from the ashes and more.
Other booths will feature area businesses that tie their work in to Harry Potter. Over 10 businesses and 10 nonprofits are coming together to recreate images from the books and movies. Victor Lundeen’s will have a Gryffindor table, and the Three Guys Deli and Grill will be serving dragon soup, butterbeer and pumpkin juice.
Mrs. Weasley, Harry Potter’s friend’s mom, creates hand-knit sweaters for Christmas gifts, and on Friday, Crates of Yarn staff will be on hand to show people how to knit their own sweaters.
Witches, Wizards and Wildlife takes place Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at West Ridge Mall. It is free and open to all ages.