Actually, this past weekend was also a tale of two cities [and no, there are no spoilers of any kind in this blog post].
Friday was, of course, Harry Day (which I began to think of as Release Day, which means something entirely different in Lois Lowry's The Giver ). Various Oshkosh institutions and businesses sponsored "Harry Potter's Main St. Magic," which entailed various activities nearby. We took an afternoon walk to the library, where the lions on the front steps had wizards hats and you could go in the "old" [read: front] entrance directly into the library's older wing, which was completely decorated and filled with screaming, excited children, as well as musicians and costumed folk. I was most impressed by their recreations of the house seals on each wall, as seen below:
It's not until this week that I realized the Hufflepuff mascot is the Badger; coincidentally, Wisconsin is the "Badger State." Does this mean that all Cheeseheads are de facto Hufflepuffs? I've always wanted to be Ravenclaw, myself, despite my Gryffindor scarf.
Then we walked around Main St., which was supposed to be "Diagon Alley" and where there were some quality signs and window displays:
More pictures, as always, are over in the Wisconsin set.
The actual book pick-up was a bit dissapointing; it wasn't clear where the final countdown was and we didn't quite find it in time for the New Year's-esque celebration [also, most of the people there had kids in tow or were in packs of teens]... I dunno, it's still a bit strange being in a new place sometimes. However,in the end, I had my book, and the next day we were off to Chicago, where we visited my friend H. and, ultimately....
The Kwik-E-Mart!! In honor of the Simpsons movie, several 7-11s have been "transformed" [err, transfigured?] into Kwik-E-Marts. Here was more merchandising, but a fan base of an entirely different sort. We relished our chance to buy some Buzz Cola, passed up the Squishees, and had a grand time with the pink donuts, just like Homer's favorites:
This promotion is obviously quite a windfall; this was seriously the most crowded 7-11 we had ever seen. They had many funny signs and characters:
More pictures are over in the Kwik-E-Mart set.
So, as I said, no spoilers here, but I've finished the Deathly Hallows and seen many fans of assorted series over this weekend....prompting further ruminations on the communal power of fandom, and its ongoing resemblances to religious practice...yet another way in which we are always in dialogue with our stories.