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Harry Potter Parties 2016

by Tyler Vitt - Thursday, Aug 04, 2016 at 2:34pm

On July 30th, 2016, McNally Robinson hosted midnight release parties for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two in both Winnipeg and Saskatoon. The parties were held to celebrate not only the release of Cursed Child but the fun and magic of the Harry Potter series as a whole. Many of our booksellers are fans of the series, and from past experiences we know there are many Potterheads in the Prairies — and at this year's parties, those fans came out in force.

Our Winnipeg celebration took place at the Lyric Theatre field in Assiniboine Park, and it's a good thing we had all of that open space. Based on previous parties and the response we had on social media, we anticipated around ten thousand guests at this year's party — but ended up with closer to 15,000. With so many Potterheads, many of whom were dressed up in their finest witch and wizard garb, the park was abuzz as guests took in the live entertainment and perused the activities and tents around the party grounds. Among the attractions were Quidditch lessons and scrimmages, a Tri-Wizard tournament, live animals in the Care of Magical Creatures station, a Diagon Alley shop tent, snacks and drinks from The Three Broomsticks, plus much more. All the while there were live performances by JP Hoe and The Mariachi Ghost from the Lyric Theatre stage. To see some photos of the party, explore #PotterPartyWPG on Twitter and Instagram.

Meanwhile, our Saskatoon location hosted a party at the bookstore and surrounding parking lot, which drew in a crowd of over 2000 fans of all ages. The event kept attendees on their toes with everything from high-spirited games of Quidditch to Dementors handing out demerits. A handful of furry (and not so furry) guests made an appearance, including live rats, snakes, and cats. Fans enjoyed frothy mugs of Butterbeer and sweet nibbles of Pumpkin Pasties in Prairie Ink, which was done up in Great Hall chic for the occasion with stars and Hogwarts letters strung from the ceiling. The more daring of the attendees tried their hand at competing in tasks such as the Tri-Wizard Tournament, complete with a series of nail-biting trivia questions. All guests were also invited to sit beneath the Sorting Hat and tremble in anticipation as it deliberated over which House they would be sorted into.

And of course at the stroke of midnight we began handing out copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Line-ups at both parties, as well as at our Grant Park bookstore, were filled with hundreds of eager fans, most of whom were beaming and some of whom were teary-eyed with joy, and all were on their way home with their new book in record time.

We thank all of the volunteers and organizations who helped us put our parties together, and a big thank you to all of the Potterheads who joined us for the evening. We had record turnouts at both parties, and — if we're fortunate enough to get another Harry Potter book someday — we hope to see you all at the next celebration.

Categories: Fun, Store News, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Event News

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See:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script)

- Children's hardcover

by J.k. Rowling - $39.99 - Add to Cart

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London's West End on July 30, 2016. This book contains the script of the play written by Jack Thorne, based on a story by J.K. Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany. The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.