Monday, March 29, 2004

Potter Convention in 2005
This convention is brought by the HP Education Fanon Inc. (NOT affiliated with JK Rowling Or Warner Brothers Inc.), a Texas based nonprofit organizing the conference. It will help in what better place? Than Salem, Mass. The conference is a follow up on the Nimbus 2003, that was held at Disney World last year. Book discussions exploring gender, cultural, and political issues raised by Rowling are planned. There will also be a costume ball, a Halloween festival, and a game of quidditch, a flying broomstick game in the books, that will be played in Salem Common on foot. "We have a wonderful games coordinator in England who's designed a game of quidditch that you can play running on foot and using different size balls," Lee(Melissa Lee of HP Education Fanon Inc) said.
"Once we took [the meeting planners] around, they just fell in love with Salem and the whole North Shore," said Julie McConchie, executive director of regional tourist bureau. "We tried to sell them on the history of the region. We let them know that Danvers was Salem Village" at the time of the 1692 Salem witch trials.
Salem, however, is close to the heart of Harry Potter lovers. It's the only American city referenced in the five Potter books.
In "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," Harry was a spectator at the Quidditch World Cup. His group sets up camp near "a group of middle-aged American witches . . . gossiping beneath a spangled banner stretched between their tents that read: Salem Witches Institute," according to the book.
No word yet if Potter disciples will make a pilgrimage to Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, a real-life school in Salem.
Registration for the conference will be available on the group's website
The Witching Hour next month.

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