Princeton Kids’ Event Coalition to host Harry Potter midnight release party

When J.K. Rowling published “Harry Potter,” she released a magic that has been carried on within her readers, long after the last book was put to print. Soon, a new chapter in the world of witchcraft and wizardry will be flung into the laps, minds and hearts of all HP fans throughout the universe … and, for the first time, on stage.

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a play by Jack Thorne, is based on an original story by Rowling, Thorne and John Tiffany. The official script will be released in book-form on July 30, 19 years after Potter was first introduced to imaginations.

In celebration of this revelatory release, the Princeton Kids’ Event Coalition will recreate the excitement of an HP fan favorite: the midnight release party.

The party will commence at 9 p.m. at Princeton Public Library. All attendees are invited to become their favorite for the evening or dress in the colors of their favorite house. There will be games, prizes, wizard candy, photo opportunities and endless Hogwarts fun. Wizard Chess will be played, fortunes will be told in the Divination Tower, and magicians will be casting spells and playing tricks.

If you get hungry, Thomas Sweet will be supplying delicious sweets at “Honeydukes Sweet Shop” and Small World Coffee will be brewing some butterbeer. There will also be a birthday cake, baked especially for Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling by Olives.

From 8 p.m. – as a courtesy to little wizards – the library will play a Harry Potter film. Party guests are welcome to pop in anytime to watch Harry, Ron and Hermione take on many-an-adventure once again.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say I grew up with Harry Potter. When ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ was released, both Harry and I were 17 years old. I remember the excitement behind every midnight release,” said Teen Services Librarian Jocelyn Jimenez. “I think the best part is the sense of community that can only come from a massive shared love and the fact that the story resonated with so many different people of all ages. I think there are going to be so many people who, like me, grew up with Harry, but this time will be sharing the experience with their young nieces or nephews, brothers and sisters, or even children of their own.”

As the night inches on toward midnight, the party will hop to Labyrinth Books and jaZams. Kids ages 15 and older will go to Labyrinth and kids 14 and younger will go to jaZams. As you wait for the midnight release, there will be activities such as Harry Potter trivia.

The Princeton Kids’ Events Coalition is a partnership between Labyrinth Books, jaZams Toys & Books, Princeton Public Schools and Princeton Public Library to celebrate children’s book authors and encourage reading.

“The Princeton Kids’ Events Coalition is not only a model of how well different institutions can work collaboratively if there is an underlying shared conviction – in this case: the importance of books and reading – but also of how much fun it can be,” said Dorothea Von Moltke, co-owner of Labyrinth Books. “It just turns out you have more and better ideas together than on your own. I’m sure the Harry Potter party will be a great example of that.”

Jimenez said, “Without a doubt, it’s going to be a magical night.”

About Erica Chayes Wida

Erica Chayes Wida is a writer, mom, and complete zealot when it comes to poetry, paella and globe collections. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from UCLA, Erica moved to Italy where the seasons and old architecture inspired her journey back to the East Coast. Since then, she and her husband have created a nest egg locally and, over time, developed a rather grand love affair with the town of Princeton. Erica is senior editor at The Princeton Sun and enjoys fulfilling her Princeton affections on a daily basis. | View all posts by Erica Chayes Wida