Katherine Daniel, Editor in Chief~
Scottsville, Virginia will host its 4th Wizarding Fest on October 27, 2018, from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. The event is held in Downtown Scottsville, along Valley, Main, Bird, and Fleet Streets. The event coordinators expect 8,000-9,000 attendees.
According to New in Lynchburg website, “This will be Scottsville’s 4th Wizarding Halloween Celebration! It is a themed event celebrating wizardry and fantasy. Come dressed as your favorite witch or wizard, while you walk along the enchanted streets of Scottsville. Enjoy arts, crafts, performances and experiences throughout the day as you immerse yourself into a magical world.”
Kristin Freshwater and Scout Strauser are the originators of the festival. Freshwater is co-founder and “Minister of Magic” for the Magic Ministry of Scottsville.
Freshwater said, “The event grew organically. Scout and I are the Managers at ‘Baine’s Books & Coffee’ in Scottsville. During Halloween in 2014, we decided to have a book themed celebration, since we are a bookstore. We chose Harry Potter because, of course, we love it. We also thought it would be the perfect way to dress up the shop and get kids excited about trick-or-treating. We decked out the shop in festive decor and prepared Harry Potter themed food and drink. It was so much fun! And on Halloween night we ended up having a few hundred people attend.”
“The next year a new business had moved in across the street, ‘Om Tattoo & Massage.’ We got to know the owners, Chris and Nakahili really well and quickly became friends. As October 2015 approached, we were describing the Harry Potter themed event we put on at the shop the previous year. Chris and Nakahili immediately got excited about the idea and wanted to know how they could join in if we did it again. That’s the year the Wand Shop was born. News soon spread to other Scottsville businesses of what we were doing and others asked to join in as well. And that is how ‘Scottsville’s Wizarding Fest’ was born. We had extremely humble beginnings, from a crowd of a few hundred in 2014 to nearly 9,000 attendees in 2016,” Freshwater said.
There will be a wand making craft for kids at ‘Scottsville United Methodist Church along with arts, crafts, and coloring all day at the Scottsville Library.
‘The End Game’ will be stationed in Bruce Park, offering open themed gaming to attendees.
There will also be 18 artisan vendors and 8 food vendors at the Scottsville Farmers Market Pavilion.
Freshwater said, “The Scottsville Library is hosting some character performances and interviews with famous witches & wizards from the world of Harry Potter. There will also be a Sorting Hat Ceremony hosted by ‘Scottsville Center for Arts & Nature.’ And ‘The Magic Ministry of Scottsville’ will be hosting a ‘Merlin’s Beard & Mustache Contest’ that evening from 5:30-8:00 at Victory Hall Theater. There will also be Quidditch lessons and matches at Dorrier Park.”
Admission is free. However, some of the activities and shows that are put on by the town nonprofits have minimal fees or donation suggestions for participation. Attendees will want to have cash on hand for the vendors, Scottsville businesses, and festival t-shirts.
Freshwater said, “We never anticipated bringing in so many people from so far away. At our last festival, we met folks who had driven 4-6 hours to be there! We started as a fun way to bring the immediate Scottsville community together, but it has grown well beyond that. I think it’s incredible that people come from so far away. It gives us an opportunity as a town to show off out spunk and quaintness. Scottsville is very small. The incorporated town is home to only about 550 people. I love that people who have a passion for fantasy and the Wizarding world can all come together in one small place and experience something so magical together. The festival creates an atmosphere where people can meet and mingle over a butterbeer or pumpkin juice. Everyone who attends can relate in a way, and is connected by a common experience and understanding. You can feel the contagious, excited energy in the air during the Festival. It’s quite extraordinary, and it keeps us going year after year.”