Thursday, November 3, 2016

Harry Potter Festival 2016 Review - Edgerton, WI

The kids and I had October 21-23, 2016 on our calendar for a really long time.  The second annual Harry Potter Festival was going to be held in Edgerton - about a half hour away.  We were excited, especially Little Diva.  She read the entire series on her own in second grade.  She's been mesmerized by Harry Potter's world ever since. 
I took a peek online at Harry Potter Festival and tickets were about $30.  I wasn't sure if we wanted to pay for admission, as friends attended on Friday and Saturday and said that you could just walk around town.  So, the kids and I through a little cash in our bag and headed down the interstate to check it out. 
It being Sunday, I'm told it was a lot less crowded than the Saturday event.  Many items and apparel were sold out.  There was also an event where you could fly on a broomstick and that was sold out, too.  I'm not sure we would have paid for admission for that even if we could.
We spent about an hour at the vendor fair.  It was basically a Harry Potter themed craft show.  Many local vendors were selling handmade crafts, wands, apparel, gifts.  It wasn't "authentic", but it was cute.  I ended up purchasing both kids wands for $3 - these were marked won from $12 since it was the last day.  I also bought my oldest a Harry Potter Festival sweatshirt and cinch bag set.  They were happy.  We also got buy one get one ice cream treats right before they closed for the day.
You didn't need tickets to participate in ANY of the events, other than the broom stick ride.  I would have been outraged had I spent $100 on tickets.  We paid $2-3 each to attend a maze put on by the drama club.  Students played Harry Potter characters and did trivia with participants while you went through this dark and dingy basement.  The kids liked it.
One building was turned into a Harry Potter themed station, shops and candy store.  That was the longest line we waited in.  We stopped by another candy store where we were told they had chocolate frogs - only to find that they were store-bought frog candies being sold for $4.  The kids understood when I didn't purchase them. 
We had fun walking around town, peeking into buildings and taking photos, but we were all pretty unimpressed by the event.  We would go back just to walk around, but now we know what to expect.  We didn't hear from anyone at the event that they were impressed by the booths and activities.  Many weren't staffed or acts didn't show up.  It was completely disorganized and participants were frustrated by the map that was (or was not!) given out.  I guess, what do you expect if you don't purchase a wrist band.  But those that did purchase the wrist band were upset by the unmagical experience.

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