For bookworms who debated the loyalty of Professor Snape, feared Lord Voldemort or drew a lightning bolt on their forehead, the time has come to tap your inner wizard. On Sunday, June 11, The Paramount in Huntington turns into Hogwarts for PotterCon, a daylong Harry Potter-themed event for adults (21 and older).
“This is a celebration for the Harry Potter generation. We are the kids who stayed up all night on our 11th birthday waiting for an owl to come,” says event founder Margaret Kaminski, 27, of New York City, who five years ago started this traveling party that plays across the country. “We all grew up with Harry in the books and in the movies. This is a special community.”
Here are the activities that will provide some magic for Long Island muggles:
Like the first day of wizarding school, the event begins with patrons getting sorted into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin in order to compete in the House Cup. Participation in each activity wins tickets that can be put toward points for your house.
“People throw their names into the Goblet of Fire — we randomly pull names and those people come up on stage,” says Kaminski. “They put the sorting hat on and we ask them questions — some are magical, some are insane. The audience will sort them into a house. If you don’t get chosen on stage, you can go to a sorting table where you will get sorted on the spot.”
Dress up as Hagrid, Professor McGonagall, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore or any character for the Costume Contest, which costs $5 to enter. Each costumed person gets a numbered sticker, and people can vote throughout the day.
“Contestants sometimes do a little sketch or a scene. It’s always improvised — crazy stuff happens,” says Kaminski. “If someone is dressed as a golden snitch [the object of desire in the sporting game of Quidditch], whoever is dressed as a seeker [Quidditch player] might run up on stage and try to catch them.”
TRIBUTES AND TRIVIA
There’s a teary slideshow that pays respect to characters who died throughout the Potter series.
“Sometimes people boo, sometimes they cheer,” says Kaminski. “Mainly they raise their wands and cry.”
Test your Potter knowledge in this challenging game of book/movie trivia hosted by creators of the Off-Broadway Harry Potter fan show, “Puffs.” The winner gets a special prize. (A less cutthroat version will take place at the trivia table.)
“The questions are really hard. We try to make it interesting so it’s not just general knowledge,” says Kaminski. “A question might be: What’s Harry Potter’s vault number at Gringotts Wizarding Bank?”
QUIDDITCH PONG AND WIZARD CHESS
There isn’t enough room for an actual Quidditch match, so the game is scaled down into a tabletop landscape with special rules and spells that you can use to help your team win.
“Quidditch pong is a lot like beer pong,” says Kaminski. “There are certain things you can do to increase your team’s chance of winning, like if you make the ball go through the Quidditch hoops in the center of the table.”
Imagine playing chess with a life-size board on the ground with pieces that are three feet tall.
“People can jump in on a game or start their own,” says Kaminski. “They can take the place of the pieces like Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger do in ‘The Sorcerer’s Stone’ film. They can walk around as the pieces themselves on the board.”
The event’s other features include a photo booth with a starry backdrop and Harry Potter props (wands, Harry Potter glasses, signs) to pose with, as well as vendors who sell items such as wizard-themed jewelry or handcrafted wands.
WHEN | WHERE 2-8 p.m., Sunday, June 11, The Paramount, 370 New York Ave. in Huntington. Ages 21 and older only.
INFO 631-673-7300, paramountny.com
Ever wonder what the succulent drink made famous by author J.K. Rowling might taste like? Attendees will get the chance to guzzle butterbeer at PotterCon, where it will be the beverage of choice.
“It’s sweet and creamy,” says Kaminski. “Most importantly, it looks like it does in the movies.”
The recipe consists of vanilla vodka, butterscotch schnapps and cream soda. There will also be a nonalcoholic version.