Inaugural Wizardfest aims to cast a spell on downtown Ironton
IRONTON — Even the muggles are welcome when downtown Ironton transforms into the magical land of Harry Potter for the inaugural Ironton Wizardfest.
Celebrating “The Boy Who Lived,” Wizardfest will be Nov. 10-11 at and around the Ro-Na Cultural Center at 312 S. 3rd St., Ironton.
“It’s a family friendly event that will be fun, educational and interactive for kids of all ages,” Chad Freeman, one of the board members of Ironton Wizardfest, said in a news release. “It will be a celebration of fandom, but more than that, it will be a celebration of creativity and imagination, as well as a celebration of the community we love and live in.”
Some activities planned for Ironton Wizardfest include a sorting ceremony presented by Briggs Lawrence County Public Library, a 150-foot long zip line for your broom riding experience, a wand making workshop hosted by Foster Adventure to have you dueling ready, “Photo-Op Alley” presented by NECCO for all your #selfie glory, tea leaf reading workshops by Seer Tabitha Dial, and a reptile show with exhibits presented by DES Coveries Education & Entertainment.
Creepy creatures won’t be the only animals represented, as The BARKer Farm’s exotic animal petting zoo will also there, as well as the Southern Ohio Wolf Sanctuary. Special guests include internationally known cosplayer Karielle and the Cos-Ohana cosplay group, as well as the HP-Ohio fan group. “Photo-Op Alley will act as a large-scale interactive exhibit for attendees to exercise their skills in social media selfies and photos with our displays inspired by scenes from our favorite book and film series,” Wizardfest board member Brad Bear said in the release. “So don’t forget to bring your favorite red head and have your picture taken with a prop replica of the ‘flying car!’ This is so much more than a fall festival; come and be amazed.
“In addition to this, there will be a Heritage Square, which will be an area of the festival grounds dedicated to our region’s unique cultural aspect of wizarding life in Appalachia. There will be live demonstrations by a blacksmith and other crafters.”
Ironton Wizardfest will also include live music, vendors, cosplay contests, a broom making workshop, a scavenger hunt presented by Ironton’s RENT-2-OWN, escape rooms, various classes and presentations, an art show, as well as a candlelight choral music service in a nearby 1800s English church.
“And Butterbrew! Lots of Butterbrew, which is our own special recipe version of the famous frothy beverage we all know and love,” Wizardfest board member Matthew Delong said in the release. “The drink was revealed to the public at the Taste of Ironton in June and it was a hit, so we are very excited to share it with everyone at the festival.”
Tickets, currently on sale at www.irontonwizardfest.com, are $15 for a two-day pass. Children under 5 are free. The event runs 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11. The main gate for Wizardfest will be at S 3rd St. and Vernon St. beside Unger’s Shoe Store (304 S 3rd St, Ironton, Ohio 45638). Tickets at the gate will be $20.
The Wizard’s Ball will be held after the grounds close on Nov. 10. Tickets for it are $35. Each ticket includes a free Butterbrew or alcoholic beverage, access to a buffet that will feature a roasted pig and as much dancing as you can stand.
The Christmas-themed party will take over the Ro-Na Great Hall and the Wizard’s Pub Saturday at 8 p.m. After performances by the Cosmadolls and The Dividends; a DJ/lightshow will keep the party going until midnight.
Ironton Wizardfest has been brainstormed and worked on since the end of last year by the Magical 7, which consists of Bear, Delong, Freeman, Laura Bayes, Josh Day, Rick Jansen and Melanie Kinney. They have met with as many Ironton businesses and organizations as they have been able to and encourage anyone and everyone that wants to be a part of the event to contact them.
“This is a privately ran festival with many non-profit partners and beneficiaries in Ironton,” Jansen said. “We have a great group of people putting this together and it is going to be a tremendous amount of fun. We hope to put on an event that makes the community proud.”
The festival is still seeking vendors, sponsors and volunteers, and is also looking for any local artists, authors and historians interested in being involved. For those wanting to participate, please visit www.irontonwizardfest.com or email email@example.com for more information.
Ironton Wizardfest can also be found on social media at Facebook.com/irontonwizardfest, Twitter.com/wizardfestohio and Instagram.com/irontonwizardfest. Follow the Facebook page for up-to-date information and giveaways.