Come and enjoy the magic in Old Town Warrenton!
Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.
Grab your wizard hats and capes and head to Old Town for the 1st Annual Warrenton Wizard Walk where the streets and shops and restaurants will come alive with magic, wizardish fun, games, and shenanigans! Look for themed window displays, business owners and guests in costumes, activities in merchants’ shops, Hedwig’s Owlry Hour at 3 p.m., a magic show with Professor Snape at 4 p.m., and more! The streets will be closed from 1-9 p.m. to enjoy the afternoon, and the day will culminate in a Wizard Walk parade of costumes open to everyone from 5th street to the courthouse at 5:30. While costumes are encouraged, they are in no way necessary to enjoy this day of fun in Old Town Warrenton.
The craze and popularity of Harry Potter has gone a long way in increasing the interest in wizards, but you don’t have to be a Harry fan to enjoy the day! One of the organizers, Cammie Fuller of The Open Book, is quick to point out that there are many other witches and wizards in literature: Merlin, Septimus Heap, Gandalf, and don’t forget the ladies! Galadriel, Jadis, Glinda, and Hermione. “Personally, I’m more of a Lord of the Rings fan and Lothlorien is my dreamscape. It’s really-what’s your magical taste?” she explains.
What is the day going to entail?
First things first: you’ll want to begin by stopping at any participating merchant to receive your Wizarding Passport, engage in four activities, and be sorted into one of four houses: Fitchersled, Nevillmore, Duggandopple, or Linewizard, in order to find out what your color and mascot will be. Do these names sound familiar? They should — they’re named after current and past mayors of Warrenton! There will be a magic show, an owl show, plus herbology classes, magical (temporary!) tattoos, potions workshops, candy, crystals, wand making, music, tabletop quidditch, and some themed food and drinks (alcoholic and kid-friendly) at our Old Town restaurants.
While the planning and production of the event is a community effort with Experience Old Town Warrenton and business owners enthusiastically jumping on board and forming committees, the root of the idea really has to be credited to Meleana Moore of Framecraft, Lee Owsley of Latitudes, and Cammie. Lee’s daughter operates a Latitudes store in Staunton where there is a huge Harry Potter festival each year drawing thousands of adults and children, mostly in costume. So they thought, why not try it here? Talking to them, it’s almost hard to believe that people will have more fun on the day than they have had planning it. These three have been enthusiastically imagining and working for months.
The event really has a dual purpose, they say. Meleana says, “Our mission is to provide a magical day for residents and visitors alike. The community and neighborhood is paramount. It’s all about community building —— we feel like one of the purposes of all the Main Street activities is to have neighbors bump into each other and create personal interactions and bring people together.”
And the other mission is to support the businesses of Old Town. There will be no outside vendors, they point out specifically, all the participants will be Old Town businesses. The goal is to invite customers into the shops and restaurants that are here. The hope is that people continue after the actual wizard walk to hang out and shop and eat. “As a free event for the community we also hope it is a boost to merchants who have struggled over the past year.” Cammie recalls, “The day we had the initial smaller wizard walk in 2019 was my best sales day of the year. We want to stimulate that for all the businesses in Old Town. We’re hoping it will grow and become an annual event for the town.”
Interested in being a sponsor? Message us through our Facebook page.