Young fans enjoy Columbia Public Library’s Harry Potter Party

By SARAH TUCKER

neighborhoods@columbiamissourian.com

Visitors to the Columbia Public Library on Friday, Nov. 12, may have thought it was Halloween all over again as small groups of children dressed as Harry Potter and other witches and wizards roamed the building.

The children were participating in a scavenger hunt as part of a Harry Potter Party sponsored by the library. Participants were sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses by the Sorting Hat, and competed against each other in a Jeopardy-style trivia game. They could also make wands, participate in a potions exam and make their own wizard trunks.

“We like to have events we think the kids would be interested in,” said Aimee Leonhard, associate on the Children’s Team and library art archivist Aimee Leonhard said.

To help the young Harry Potter fans get in the right frame of mind, librarians decorated the Program Room in the Children’s Area with handmade snitches and House banners. Fans themselves, the librarians also dressed as various characters from the movie, including Nymphadora Tonks and Professor McGonagall.

Leonhard dressed as Professor McGonagall. She had helped decorate the Program Area and hand-painted the crests for each Hogwarts house. Leonhard is a fan of the books and has read them several times, she said.

“I really like Hermione a lot,” Leonhard said. “I like that she’s tough, and she’s smart, and she’s annoying.”

Most of the children wore capes or robes, and some had on witch hats or Gryffindor or Slytherin scarves. Many children were dressed as Harry Potter, and wore glasses and had scars drawn on their foreheads.

Mary Ellen Degnan’s son, 10-year-old Justin Wood, decided not to dress up.

“He didn’t want to wear his costume,” she said. “It was not a Hogwarts one.”

Five-year-old Catherine George wore a large witch hat, complete with black feathers and a long lace veil.

“I’m supposed to be Luna Lovegood,” she said.

Catherine is too young to read or watch the movies, but “she knows stuff from what her brother said,” her mother, Christina George, said.

“I know that they play Quidditch, they go to Hogwarts and Ron throws up something,” Christina said.

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