Kent is a small Ohio town that’s home to Kent State University. The town is known for its quiet main street and idyllic charm. But for one weekend a year, everything changes, and Kent turns into a wizard-y haven. What started out as a celebration of J.K Rowlings’ most recent Harry Potter book in 2016 quickly morphed into Kent Potterfest, now an annual tradition that celebrates all things Potter.
Every years now, festival organizers plan to turn Kent’s famed Acorn Alley into Diagon Alley, just as they did last year. Walking down this alley, festival-goers can participate in a plethora of wizard-themed games and arts and crafts projects.
And many of the local businesses get in on the action, too. This year, organizers expect nearly 40 local shops and restaurants to participate. The local watering holes even serve up butter beer, and other Potter-themed treats.
Meanwhile, would-be wizards can participate in the many Hogwarts-inspired games and activities scattered throughout the rest of the college town. There’s a lot to choose from but, among other things, you really should come dressed as your best wizard. There’s a costume contest and, from the looks of it, the competition is fierce.
Still not convinced? Check out this adorable little wizard. You’d best bring your A game.
The free event features live music, too, and organizers say they are working hard on an exciting lineup.
New this year is the Kent Potterfest 5K. This fun run promises to take you on a magical journey through the Kent State University campus at dusk, the evening before Kent Potterfest, in order to kick off the event.
Harry Potter not your thing? Don’t worry. Ohio is home to all types of strange and wonderful festivals, including the Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville and the Annie Oakley Festival in Greenville.
But if you want in on this action, just know that this year’s Potterfest will take place on July 29, starting at 12 noon.