Kent Potterfest 2017 

Before I left the house with my baby in tow Saturday morning, my husband asked me “What are you going to do if it rains…. use a cloak spell?”. He really thinks he is funny. 

Anyone who knows me (and even some who have only just met me) knows that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. If it’s Harry Potter related in any way, I’m 100% down, which is why I was so upset when I missed the first annual Kent Potterfest last year. Needless to say, when the time came again, I was pretty pumped

I really wanted to go last year, but I was 4 months pregnant and experiencing insane ‘morning’ sickness (I’m convinced whoever decided to call it that is still laughing) and, considering I dislike large crowds on my best day, decided it best not to attend.  

So, I planned my day out  (because when you have a 7 month old, nap time trumps EVERYTHING) and little H, my sister-in-law, and I headed up to Kent for the celebration. Traffic was a bit intense, but parking was pretty easy to find. 

There was a cute little farmers market going on earlier in the day that we walked through and Kent is a really interesting little town. The first Potter-related experience was a train car set up with signs for Platform 9 3/4.  We made our way towards Main St., where a lot of the vendors and activities were set up. I feel now is an important time to mention that people actually travelled to attend this. We saw license plates from Illinois and Michigan, and pretty sure we overheard a group talking about visiting from Missouri! Also, for anyone who isn’t really into Harry Potter, the following is intense. HP fans have our own community, and people get really excited and creative when it comes to any Potter celebration.  

There were a lot of really cool and unique vendors, from what I could see. The problem was there were so many people, it was hard to actually get in to the tents to see anything. I did manage to worm my way early on into the tent of a Vendor called “A Dose of Fandom” and I picked up a really cool wand holder (I’ll attach a photo below….and yes, I will actually use it to display my wand). I probably would have bought more, but the crowd was so intense that it was a bit overwhelming and nearly impossible to get in to see anything in the vendor tents. 

They also had Acorn Alley set up to be Diagon Alley. All the little shops in the alley were decorated and selling special Harry Potter items. Again, I would love to say I perused the shelves even for a few minutes, but take the large crowd mixed with the small spaces and add a stroller to the mix, and it was a mess. None-the-less, it was still neat to walk through and see all the special decor. 

There was a cafe selling their own concoction of Butterbeer, but the line was at least 100 people long and not moving very quickly. Next to the line, they had ‘the Forbidden Forrest’ which was a cute addition.  

There was a live owl show that we weren’t able to see. However, we did watch quite a bit of the children’s costume contest. I love Harry Potter costume contests because people actually get really creative in designing the costumes. I have to say, my favorite was probably the kid dressed as Hogwarts castle. Next year, I may considering entering my little one!

We walked around for a few hours just taking in the scene. It’s always fun to see everyone dressed up and excited about something like this!

Unrelated to Harry Potter, I stumbled across a really cute clothing boutique while looking for a semi-quiet place to nurse. The owner was extremely nice, and the items in her ship were adorable. All the clothing was really soft and comfy, and she had really unique jewelry. It was called Carnaby Street Style, and they do have a website if you’re interested in checking them out. 

Overall, the people who organized this did a good job, but having such a large crowd in such a small area difficult. From what I heard of last year’s festival, this year was much smoother. Hopefully each year, things that didn’t work can continue to be tweaked to make the experience that much more enjoyable. Between the organization and decorations, I could tell a lot of time and energy went into setting this event up. If I had hoped for next year, it would maybe be to include a few more streets in the vendor show and space the vendors out a bit more, so maybe the help with the crowd and space issues. 

I didn’t get many pictures, unfortunately, because I was so busy trying to navigate the crowd while dealing with a 7 month old, but I’ve attached the few photos I did manage to grab. (Photo cred to my wonderful sister-in-law for a fee of these)

If you happened to attend and got any good pictures, if love to see them!

We arrived early and the crowd was already crazy!

The people standing at the right of the photo were all actually in line just to get into the Off the Wagon shop!

Of course the only photo I managed to get of her before she ripped the bow right off the headband, and her eyes are closed. 

“Wand Holder” from A Dose of Fandom.

If I attend next year,  which is likely, I will probably leave the stroller at home and since even earlier. 

If you attended, share your photos with me. I’d love to see them! 

Ashley Lynn

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