On September 1, the Hogwarts Express leaves London at exactly 11:00 a.m. and arrives at
Hogsmeade Station with a fresh batch of students anticipating which Hogwarts house they will be sorted into in the Great Hall. However, wizards and muggles alike won’t have to wait until next year or even travel to London’s King Cross Station to hop on the magical Hogwarts Express.
In October, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore look-a-likes will be greeting passengers for two days on SEPTA trains that will be departing from Philadelphia’s Jefferson Station, and lead them on the Hogwarts Express to the annual Wizard Festival in Chestnut Hill.
Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood will be converted into the village of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade for the Harry Potter Festival and Quidditch Tournament. A Harry Potter Conference will take place on Friday, October 21 and the Quidditch tournament and festival will follow on Saturday, October 22.
The annual event includes a six-block street fair with themed cuisine, shops, restaurants and
decorations resembling the Great Hall at Hogwarts and Hogsmeade Station. Muggles at the free event can take Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, play wizard chess, find out what house you belong in with the sorting hat and even mix potions. The Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup, the Quidditch tournament, is also free.
Tickets for the butterbeer pub crawl are $10 and go on sale Wednesday, September 28 at 10:00 a.m. The local Chestnut Hill College, which looks like a modern-day Hogwarts, will host a Harry Potter Conference to discuss J.K. Rowling’s
body of work.
The SEPTA train won’t physically transformed into the Hogwarts Express from the Warner Brother films, but there will be actors on board dressed as characters from Harry Potter stories to greet muggles, wizards and Potterheads and lead them to the festival, according to the Huffington Post.
Mark your calendar to buy your tickets, galleons and sickles aren’t accepted, to experience the magical world of Harry Potter in a fun-filled weekend in the City of Brotherly Love.
Lauren Spiler is a freelance journalist based in Athens, Georgia, but most call her Spiler.