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Hogwarts on Del Prado

Second annual event breathes magic into a Cape Coral summer Saturday

July 21, 2017
By MELISSA SCHNEIDER ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Just as the Harry Potter series franchise turned the big 2-0 recently, the staffers at the local Red Headed Witches costume shop have something special up their magical cloaks to celebrate, hosting the second annual Hogwarts on Del Prado event Saturday, July 22, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the 1910 Del Prado Blvd. location.

The wizarding world of Harry Potter comes alive in Cape Coral that day, as storybook characters come to life during this family fun event for kids and families of all ages.

"We are really excited this year. Since the event was so successful last year, we came up with new activities to enhance what we had last year. It is going to be a magical experience," said Crissy Barchers, lead organizer of the magical event, and owner of the Red Headed Witches. "Anyone who loves the Harry Potter series or even those who don't who wouldn't want to be a real-life witch or wizard for a day?"

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Photo provided

A number of the favorite characters from the Harry Potter series will make appearances at the Hogwarts on Del Prado event Saturday.

Catch Harry Potter for a quick photo op before he runs off to the next magical adventure. You'll even see Hagrid, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, Sybill Trelawney, Minerva McGonagall even Rita Skeeter, the roving newspaper reporter for the Daily Prophet! But watch out; Bellatrix Lestrange will be causing mayhem, and Lord Voldemort (He Who Shall Not Be Named) is even said to appear from time to time throughout the day!

Partake in the special magic classes offered that afternoon, starting at 3:30 and running every half hour onward.

"Some characters will be teaching classes: Potion making classes, divinations and spell casting so don't forget your wand," Barchers said.

What will Sybill Trelawney see in your future? Only fate and her magical crystal ball will tell.

Outside will be just as fun as inside, with kids' Quidditch matches sweeping the grounds and Bertie Bott's jellybean challenge.

"Several kids get to play the jelly bean challenge at the same time. One of the Harry Potter characters will spin the wheel, featuring the different colored jelly beans we have, like the yellow jelly bean with orange speckles," Barchers explained. "Then, the kids have to eat that jelly bean, and it will either be very good or very gross. It's definitely a great photo opportunity!"

Some of the unsound samples of jelly beans will include the white beans: will it be coconut or spoiled milk?; the green beans: green apple or grass?; the tan beans: peach or moldy cheese? Uh oh, surely the brown beans are safe, right? Nope! They'll be either chocolate pudding or canned dog food yuck!

Barchers had the unfortunate luck of not falling for one bad bean but two.

"I ended up eating the spoiled milk and moldy cheese. It was so gross!" she laughed.

Rehydrate with specialty refreshments, featuring homemade (non-alcoholic) pumpkin juice and butterbeer; butterbeer-flavored popcorn balls and cookies, and a variety of other tasty spell-binding treats.

Knowing many families will be coming out to this event, Barchers was sure to keep the cost very low.

"There is no cost for admission to come by, have your picture taken with all of the characters, and just hang out and have fun with us. Nowadays, things can be so expensive for families just trying to go out and have fun, and I was sure we kept whatever costs there were very low, so they can come out and have fun without worrying about breaking the bank," she explained. "To attend any of the magic classes, play Quidditch or participate in the bean-boozled challenge, it's $1 each, or $8 for an unlimited Wizard Pass. Refreshments will be just $3 for the drinks and $1 for the snacks."

Last year, generations of Harry Potter fans made it out to the event, and this year is sure to be no different.

"It's such a fun event for Harry Potter fans - fans of all ages. We've had a grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter come out who all loved the series, and we've had parents who grew up in the Hogwarts genre who got babysitters that day so they can come alone to the event. From children to teenagers to adults, it's such a wide variety of people who love the series," she said.

Barchers encourages HP fans to show up dressed for magical success, and enter the costume contest that kicks off around 6/6:30 that evening.

If you're missing something for your enchanting attire, the Red Headed Witches has anything you'd need to finish it off.

"We have lots of things for witches, wizards and those who want to come and represent their House even for muggles!"

For those not flying their Quidditch brooms or enchanted cars to the event, there is overflow parking in the lot behind the costume shop's building, as well as an open field behind the neighboring shopping plaza.

Whether you're House Slytherin, House Gryffindor, House Hufflepuff or House Ravenclaw or if you just happen to be a humdrum muggle who's fascinated by the fantastical world of magic, you're sure to have fun at the Red Headed Witches Saturday afternoon.

For further information on the second annual event, visit, email or find the Event page on facebook by searching "Hogwarts on Del Prado."

Next up for the costume shop

This fun little Cape Coral costume shop doesn't stop at hosting magical Harry Potter events over the summer months. Coming up next, Barchers is contemplating an off-site Monster's Ball as a kickoff to the Halloween season.

In the meantime, Barchers recently marked down some items as Buy One, Get One Free on select accessories and makeup, so stop by the shop during its summer hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; or Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (closed Sunday and Monday).



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