Open in App
Eagle Herald

Quidditch and butterbeer: Menominee’s Harry Potter event promises two enchanting evenings

By ERIN NOHA EagleHerald Staff Writer,


MENOMINEE — Spells, magic and the world of Harry Potter will descend on Henes Park this week as the 7th annual HP in Henes Park event comes alive for two enchanting nights on Thursday and Friday from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m.

The event promises to be bigger and “hopefully a little bit better” than ever before, said Sandy Bayerl, co-planner and founder of the concept.

Registration is still open for the event but is filling up fast. People can call Spies Public Library at 906-863-3911 to reserve a time slot. The event is open to those 18 and younger, with parents tagging along, too, according to Bayerl.

Organized by the library, with a joint partnership with the City of Menominee, the annual tradition celebrates the beloved wizarding books by author J.K. Rowling.

The event has grown substantially over the years. They moved it outside to accommodate COVID protocol, and the location has stuck ever since, captivating young and old fans, Bayerl said.

“Talk about finding a sneaky way to promote reading,” she said.

It’s something you might expect from a professed member of House Slytherin.

The event aims to introduce newcomers to the “Potterverse” and give those die-hard fans a chance to dress up and celebrate, said co-planner, children’s librarian and historian Abbey Hoijer.

“They’ll enjoy it even if they haven’t read it,” she said.

The event has a few fun features this year:

• Herbology Station: Young wizards can plant a seed into a pot of dragon dung and see what sprouts. Professor Sprout will be present, so all students should be on their best behavior.

• Wands: Step into Ollivanders wand shop, where kids can choose their very own wand, or does the wand choose them?

• Quidditch: Showcase those broomstick skills with a game of quidditch — keep calm and catch the golden snitch.

• Chocolate Frogs: Chocolate frogs, custom molded by Sayklly’s Confectionary & Gifts in Escanaba, are a sweet treat for each participant.

• Butterbeer: Savor the iconic sips while taking in the evening.

The event is free a suggested donation. Bayerl encourages those who haven’t registered to stroll through the park on those nights — anyone can observe the magic inside their tents.

About 50 volunteers account for the event’s success is attributed to the volunteers, Bayerl said.

“They bring the magic,” she said.

The trivia stations and activities are designed to subtly promote reading and engage kids creatively, according to Hoijer.

“I’ve had a lot of people tell me that Harry Potter is the first book a kid or adult will enjoy reading,” she said. “It might spark their interest in reading altogether. Any time we can get someone reading for entertainment and just enjoying it, that’s always something we encourage.”

All participants and attendees of the event are encouraged to dress up in their most wizardly attire. Those in plain clothes can also just say they’re dressed as muggles, the popular term in the book for those who don’t have magical abilities and don’t know about the secretive world Harry Potter and his classmates escape to every year.

Henes Park will be closed in preparation for the event, with Pavilion 3, the beach house and the trails transformed into enchanting corners of the wizarding world. All children attending will receive their very own patronus, an advanced magical spell that the most experienced wizards cast to protect themselves from dementors, dark creatures from the Harry Potter universe.

Bayerl, the heart and soul behind the HP nights, said that every year, someone will “magically” reach out with donations or help. It’s truly spellbinding.

“There’s just something about it,” Bayerl said.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0