Harry Potter-themed town celebration draws droves of Muggles

In this photo taken Nov. 25, 2017, rescue dogs named Molly Weasley and Arthur Weasley, owned by Diane and Jeff Swope, are dressed as Harry Potter movie characters on Spring Street during a Harry Potter-themed celebration called Diagon Alley in Newton, N.J. (Terry Klimek/The New Jersey Herald via AP)

NEWTON, N.J. (AP) — Wizards and Muggles have turned out in droves for a Harry Potter-themed celebration in a small community, so much so the town is now looking to turn it into an annual event.

Spring Street in Newton was transformed on Saturday into Diagon Alley, the magical market from the J.K. Rowling book series.

More than two dozen restaurants and stores in Newton’s main business district featured elements of the franchise, including a restaurant that served Butterbeer and a store that gave patrons magic wands.

Many attendees dressed up in Harry Potter attire. Some donned scarves with colors from the various Hogwarts houses and Harry’s signature round eyeglasses.

Mayor Wayne Levante told the New Jersey Herald that the overwhelming crowd was much larger than organizers initially envisioned.

“It’s just awesome to see this many people here in Newton,” Levante said. “There’s obviously a demand for this. … A rising tide raises all boats, so we’re going to make sure that we do this bigger and better next year because this is lightning in a bottle.”

Town and local business leaders planned to meet Monday to discuss next year’s event and how it could be improved, including the possibility of making it a two-day event. They planned to address concerns raised by attendees, such as a lack of parking and the need for more bathroom facilities. Some people also voiced displeasure over long waits to get into some stores, but officials say that was mostly due to the larger than expected crowds.

>> MORE FROM LILA’S DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

Stay with WFLA News Channel 8’s Lila Gross for the latest trending news straight from social media

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s