Wizard Weekend

FAYETTEVILLE — Who donated the phoenix feather that resides in Harry Potter’s 11-inch wand of holly?

What are Durmstrang and Beauxbatons?

What does “accio” mean? Or “lumos?” Which is the more important spell?

Which house is greatest: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin?

If you know the answers to these questions, or have very strong opinions on the ones that are debatable, you might want to head out to the Southside Junction Tap House, otherwise known as The Leaky Cauldron, in Fayetteville tonight for Harry Potter-themed trivia from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Those 21 and older are invited to the Fayetteville business to help kick off Wizard Weekend in the county seat.

Fayetteville has scored major successes lately with special themed weekends, ranging from the World War II Weekend last May to the Gingerbread Festival and Gnomevember later last year.

This weekend is no exception.

Expect to see wizards, Death Eaters, werewolves, a house elf or two, goblins and lots of Muggles roaming the streets of Fayetteville this weekend. If you’re lucky, you may even run into a member of the Order of the Phoenix or a unicorn. And if you’re not so lucky, a Dementor.

Tabitha Stover, director of the Fayetteville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said in a blog post on VisitFayetteville.com the town is excited to host the Wizard Weekend.

“We are super excited to host Fayetteville’s first Wizard Weekend celebrating a beloved children’s book series and the magic of our beautiful town,” Stover wrote.

“On Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, join hundreds of fans for themed shopping, dining, and activities fun for all ages as Fayetteville transforms into a magical village.”

Mayor Sharon Cruikshank said she’s been encouraged by the success of the community’s themed weekends as well as the growing popularity of climbing and other activities which are turning Fayetteville and the New River Gorge into more of a four-season destination.

“We cover the four season issue. I think people are discovering that they can come to the New River Gorge area because we’re affordable, we’re accessible and we have something to offer no matter what time of the year it is,” she said Wednesday.

“I think this weekend is a great opportunity to come and enjoy our (community’s) creativity,” she added.

Activities through the weekend will provide something for every member of the family.

A scavenger hunt begins Friday at 10 a.m., running through 5 p.m. Clues may be collected at the Fayetteville Visitor Center. The clues will lead participants through Fayetteville in and around various shops. Once participants complete they hunt, they are to return to the Visitor Center and collect a small prize (as long as supplies last).

Scavenger hunts also will be held on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.

A Puzzle Challenge is slated for 3 to 6 p.m. at Epic Escape Game New River Gorge. The challenge is based on the Room of Requirement. Puzzle challenges also are set for Saturday and Sunday.

Those of all ages are invited back to the visitor center at 4 p.m. to create a wizard craft.

A Wizard Painting Workshop will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Fayetteville CVB, but reservations must be made in advance by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wizard-paint-night-tickets-89113800777?fbclid=IwAR2SPW1pVSumwjokds63EbYtCoAxb_wLJGqIpM7Y_iM1isHf1da3fpW3TlU

Anyone familiar with Hogwarts knows of the Start of Term Feast. The Scottish Highlands have nothing on Fayetteville.

At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, and again on Saturday, The Station will host the feast at 312 North Court Street. Reservations must be made in advance by calling 304-900-5516. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., but diners are asked to arrive between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. to find your place at the table.

The menu for the Start of Term Feast includes Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered peas, roasted carrots, corn on the cob, roasted chicken, sausages, shepherd’s pie, apple pie, eclairs, bread pudding and butterbeer.

Also on Friday, Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds with Walter Debarr will perform live music at The Grove.

The scavenger hunt kicks off Saturday’s magical adventures, but an event sure to be a crowd favorite is set for 9 a.m. at the Visitor Center.

The sorting ceremony will reveal visitors’ inner Gryffindor or Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw: “Not Slytherin, eh?...Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that no? Well, if you’re sure...better be… GRYFFINDOR” (The Sorting Hat to Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”)

Throughout the day Saturday, visitors to the Wizard Weekend can learn about wand making at Water Stone Outdoors, visit U.S. Cellular’s Wizard Photo Booth, enter a costume contest, participate in another puzzle challenge and, during one of the day’s obvious highlights, enjoy a Onewheel Quidditch Game at 2 p.m. on the Courthouse lawn.

Maura Kistler, co-owner of Water Stone Outdoors, which is sponsoring the quidditch match, said she’s looking forward to the unique event.

“I’m just silly excited,” she said Wednesday. “This is what they call a Google buster. No one has put the words ‘onewheel’ and ‘quidditch’ together, so (Fayetteville) will, in fact, be the birthplace of onewheel quidditch.”

Fans are urged to bring a chair and enjoy the action as Gryffindor combats Slytherin for the Quidditch Cup in what organizers believe to be the world debut of onewheel quidditch.

“I’m a big Harry Potter fan (and) it’s just so exciting to me because it gets all the kids excited,” Kistler said.

The day will wind down with live music by Tofujujitsu from 8 to 11 p.m. at The Grove.

A final scavenger hunt, crafts and another puzzle challenge are planned for Sunday.

Throughout the weekend, shops around town will take part in Wizard Weekend with various activities and specials. Stop by the Visitor Center when you get to town to pick up a Fayetteville Wizard Weekend map and map key. Once you’re equipped with the map from the 9 3/4 Platform at the Visitor Center, you’ll be set to visit the wand shop at Water Stone Outdoors, Mulpepper Apothecary, the robe shop at Twisted Gypsy’s, the Great Hall at Cathedral Cafe for wizard glasses and lightning bolts and a photo booth or look for wizard sweets, potions and snacks at The Stache, Morgan Insurance or the New River Antique Mall.

There’s much, much more. Check out the website at visitfayetteville.com or the Wizard Weekend Facebook page.

And no matter what, do keep an eye out for “He Who Must Not Be Named.”

Email: ckeenan@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @Fayette_Cheryl

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