September 23, 2015
Harry Potter and all his friends will fly into Chestnut Hill for the annual Harry Potter Festival, Pub Crawl and Conference on Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17. Each year, fans from all over descend on the picturesque neighborhood to celebrate the wizarding world, drink Butterbeer and play Quidditch.
One of the most popular parts of the festival is the pub crawl, taking place Friday night at 7 p.m. Tickets for the pub crawl have sold out after going on sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday. This year, 650 tickets will be available and Tavern on the Hill, McNally's Tavern, Iron Hill Brewery, Campbell's Place, Chestnut Grill and El Poquito will be participating. Free activities for the crawl include photo booths, a caricaturist and a costume contest.
Friday is also the date of the Chestnut Hill College Harry Potter Conference. The interdisciplinary academic conference includes scholarly presentations based around J. K. Rowling's series, as well as art shows and networking opportunities for scholars. The conference, which begins at 10 a.m., is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged.
Saturday's festival kicks off at 11 a.m. with an opening ceremony featuring the series' most popular characters arriving on the "Hogwarts Express" at Chestnut Hill West station. The day of activities includes a "Hunt for the Horcrux" activity, Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, a Sorting Hat demonstration, fortune tellers, face painters and more. Local establishments will be dressed up like locations from the series and specialty themed food and drink will be available for purchase. The festival is friendly to fans of all ages and most events are free.
The Firebolt 5K presented by The Friends of J.S. Jenks and Chestnut Hill College's Annual Philadelphia Brotherly Cup Quidditch Tournament will also take place on Saturday.