Ready for Harry: Mercer Island celebrates new book release with Harry Potter party

Mercer Island Reporter/File photo Islander Claire Goetschel holds a Harry Potter sign at Mercer Island High School. Goetschel was the headmaster of the Harry Potter Club at the high school. -
Mercer Island Reporter/File photo Islander Claire Goetschel holds a Harry Potter sign at Mercer Island High School. Goetschel was the headmaster of the Harry Potter Club at the high school.
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Grab your wand and spellbooks! Mercer Island will celebrate the release of the final Harry Potter installment, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 20. Haven’t ordered a book yet? There is still time to pre-order your copy from Island Books by calling 232-6920.

The magical night will take place at the Community Center at Mercerview, where there will be fun and activities for wizards and witches of all ages. The whole community center will be decked out and divided up into a world much like Harry’s, with different rooms offering different activities. As the clock nears midnight, Island Books will pass out J.K. Rowling’s latest (and last) Harry Potter installment. Apparate over and explore these exciting events, which begin at 9 p.m. sharp:

Community Center Entrance

A SPEW [Society for the Protection of Elvish Welfare] donation center will be set up near the entrance to the CCMV. Please bring clothing items to donate to the Mercer Island Thrift Shop.

Diagon Alley - Mercer Room

Every wizard knows the only place to stock up on Hogwarts essentials is the famous Diagon Alley. The CCMV’s Mercer Room will be transformed into rows of shops, perfect for picking out a new wand or spending some sickles and knuts on Honeydukes sweets. Visit these shops to load up on all of your wizard gear — all of the activities in Diagon Alley are free — and find the magician who’ll be wandering the shops to see some fantastic illusions.

Ollivander’s Wand Shop — Expelliarmus! Don’t let your spell-casting get rusty over the summer. Stop by this booth to pick up a free wand made of sturdy willow branches. Staff will be on hand to help young wizards and witches select the perfect wand and customize it with a favorite spell.

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes — So there won’t be skiving snackboxes, but there will be plenty of materials for curious wizards and witches to create a fortune-telling paper wheel. Fred and George Weasley would be proud.

Honeyduke’s Sweet Shop — Have you ever had an earwax-flavored jelly bean? If not, stop by this shop to score some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and many more exciting treats. See if you can perform a bit of occlumency and pick the winning colors from a lollipop tree for great prizes.

Post Office — Everyone knows the only way to deliver something in the wizarding world is by owl. Fly over to the post office to create an origami owl of your own. Maybe you’ll meet Hedwig and Harry in the owlery.

Quill Shop — Imagine doing all of your homework with a quill and ink, just like a Hogwarts’ student. Visit this shop to try your hand at writing with a quill on old-fashioned parchment. Don’t worry, Dolores Umbridge and her “special” quill will be nowhere in sight!

Gladrags Wizard Wear — Tired of looking like a muggle? There’s nowhere better to pick up wizard gear than Gladrags. This shop will be having a free sock decorating table, complete with a contest for the craziest wizard sock.

Emerald City Smoothie will be in Diagon Alley serving up smoothies worthy of pumpkin-juice fame. Three or four smoothie flavors will be offered in 16-ounce sizes at a cost of $4. Maggie Moo’s will be sampling and selling its most popular ice-cream flavors, such as blue cotton candy and very yellow marshmallow, a child-sized scoop will cost $3. Starbucks Coffee will also have a booth for those who would like something caffeinated.

Fire Place Room — Just off the Mercer Room

Get here by floo powder if you must, and find out if you belong in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. This is the place to be sorted into your Hogwarts’ house by the legendary Sorting Hat. Visit the facepainter in this room to get a Harry Potter-worthy lightening-shaped forehead scar. Wizards and witches can also participate in a herbology lesson with some seed planting, and get digital photographs taken with Harry Potter characters.


9 p.m. — the CCMV gym will be turned into a quidditch field. No registration or Nimbus 2000 is required, the referees will be rotating players in and out all evening, so just show up if you would like a spot as chaser, beater, keeper or seeker.

10:30 p.m. — The Parselmouths, a folk-rock comedy band will take the stage. The band was started in 2004 and consists of two Slytherin girls and one Slytherin boy, Brittany Vahlberg, Kristina Horner and John Platter. The songs are in the point of view of these three; just Slytherin students going about their day-to-day business at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Listen to such hits as “What Kind of Name is Hermione” and “House Elves are Fun to Kick Around.”

11:30 p.m. — Gather in the gymnasium to hear the winners of the library’s Harry Potter writing contest announced. Other contest winners will also be announced at this time.

Midnight — Get your copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!”

Calkins Room

What better way to prepare for the final book than by taking a journey back to Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts? Starting at 9 p.m., “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” will be shown in the Calkins Room. This is the only event going on in this room, so movie-watchers can enjoy the movie with, as Professor McGonagal would say, “Well-mannered frivolity.”

Luther Room

Too young to be a first-year but clearly not a squib? The library has set up the Luther Room to cater especially to wizards and witches younger than 6 years old. Create an owl mask, decorate a magic wand, get your face painted and much more.

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