Phoenix rising: Partying for Potter

Everyone at our house is a Harry Potter fan —even…ahem… the adults among us. After three years with nothing but movies to satisfy our craving for magical adventures from the crew at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, we are eagerly anticipating author J.K. Rowling’s fifth installment in her seven-book series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Turns out we’re not the only ones. There’s more excitement about the June 20 release of this book than there is for Christmas. According to The Wall Street Journal, Scholastic Books will print 8.5 million copies in what is “perhaps the biggest press run in book publishing history.” And this Phoenix is expected to rise to the top of the bestseller list before breakfast on Saturday.
Barnes & Noble is celebrating this phenomenal literary debut with a Midnight Magic Party. Friday evening starting at 9pm, the normally staid store will be transformed into a haven for Harry Potter fans. Wizards and witches of all ages are invited to dress as their favorite Hogwarts characters and take the train on track 9 for an evening of supernatural entertainment and, at midnight, the chance to be among the first folks in town to own a copy of this celebrated manuscript.
Students from the Village School’s summer orchestra will enchant partygoers in the café with theme songs from the Harry Potter movies. Guests can have the signature Harry Potter lightening bolt or other mystical symbols painted on their faces. Adoring fans will also want to step up to the Harry Potter “standee” where Hagrid will snap a picture of them next to the image of the powerful young wizard.
Competition is expected to be hot in the Harry Potter trivia contest that offers great give-aways for wizardly whizzes who know things like who Nicolas Flamel is and why Madame Maxime got mad at Hagrid. Back in the children’s section, a jar of Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans is up for grabs if you can guess the correct number of spinach-, liver-, tripe-, sprout-, curry-, grass-, and vomit-flavored beans in it. And magician David Graham will be wandering the store waving his own magic wand.
When the witching hour strikes, the new Harry Potter will fly out of the boxes, and the store will stay open until every muggle is served. According to customer relations manager Michelle Allaire, there will “probably” be enough books available for those who pre-ordered and reserved a copy, but she offers no guarantees for those who did not.
Even if they don’t get their hands on the book, Harry’s fans will enjoy this chance to party it up with Hermione, Hagrid, and other Hogwarts heroes. I know I will.

Barnes & Noble’s Midnight Magic Party celebrating the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix lasts from 9pm-midnight on June 20. Free. Barracks Road Shopping Center. 984-6598.

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