Local shops to celebrate release of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’


Downtown Kent’s Off the Wagon is just one of more than 25 local businesses who will celebrate the release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,”—a children’s book based off of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling series—on Saturday, July 30.

Cameron Gorman

Something magical is happening to downtown Kent on Saturday, July 30.

Acorn Alley will become Diagon Alley, the Marvin Kent Train Car will become the Hogwarts Express and potions classes will be taught in Acorn Plaza. For those who these words mean anything to, there’s plenty to be excited about.

Kent’s first Potterfest will temporarily transform Kent into the wizarding world for a night to celebrate the release of a new “Harry Potter” story based on J.K. Rowling’s best-selling children’s series.  

 Written by Jack Thorne,  “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is the script used for the UK stage show that takes place after the seventh installment in the series.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. to midnight, complete with themed festivities, kids activities and special games.

Off the Wagon, one of more than 25 businesses and shops participating in the celebration, will have a limited number of the books available for the midnight launch.

“The owner of off the Wagon (Michelle Sahr) … is on the Main Street Kent Board and she suggested maybe doing kind of a release party for the new book,” said Heather Malarcik, executive director of Main Street Kent. “It’s turned into a much larger event because people are really excited and into the ‘Harry Potter’ thing.”

There will be costume contests for both adults and children, potions classes, adult mixology classes (for ‘Potter’-themed drinks), vendors selling prints and other craft items, live music and more.

The adult’s costume contest, for those 14 and up, has a $5 entrance fee and will begin at 8:30 p.m. The kid’s contest is free and will begin at 6 p.m.

Both contests will be held in the Hometown Bank Plaza. Cash prizes up to $250 will be given.

“We have an event page set up on Facebook, and there’s over 10,000 people expressing interest, with about 24,000 saying they’re coming,” Malarcik said. “We’re expecting a pretty good turnout—people are totally into this.”

Tarot readings, tabletop quidditch and more will be arranged for those interested as well, with each participating business hosting their own special activity, craft or themed menu items for the night.

“Our organization is focused on bringing fun, vibrant things to our downtown, and supporting our businesses,” Malarcik said. “This will bring people into the businesses, so we’re all about it.”

Contact Cameron Gorman at [email protected]