Queen City Magic and Mischief

Witches and Wizards dive into Staunton’s Wizarding World


Queen City Mischief and Magic Official Facebook Page

One of the four main quadrants of the Queen City Mischief and Magic festival this past September, Hufflepuff.

Abby Gaver and Nina Andrews

Bridgewater, Va.- During the weekend of Sept. 24, Staunton held its annual Queen City Magic and Mischief event. The event, created by the local community, is for the celebration and appreciation of the “Harry Potter” book and film series, though the event is not affiliated with J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Fans from all over the region came dressed in different costumes, often in the robes indicating their house, or as characters. There were also some dressed as smaller characters or objects from the series, such as the Golden Snitch or a plague doctor.

“This was my first time attending, and I was absolutely blown away by the dedication of the town and participation from everyone who attended,” said attendee Samantha Lyvic. “I am all the way from Norfolk, so even for me to drive down here tells you something.”

Businesses in Staunton offered merchandise fitting the theme, and many decorated their respective stores as well. Queen City was split into four locations that were themed according to the different houses: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. 

In Gryffindor Block, Baja Bar sold refreshments, including the ever popular Baja butter brew. The Valley Club for the Deaf was open in this block as well, teaching those who stopped by magical words and sentences in sign language.

At the Wharf, Train and Landes Park, booths were set up advertising other businesses and organizations in the area, including a live mermaid and a scheduled quidditch match.

In the Slytherin Block, Stuart Hall School provided a character meet and greet. After taking photos and going through the brick wall to the mock Diagon Alley, there were individuals dressed as book characters such as Death Eaters. 

“I love how they actually got people to dress up as the characters,” said attendee Lilly Ambel. “It is cool and terrifying at the same time, because some of them actually resembled the characters.”

The Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff quadrants were the smallest of them all, but offered plenty of resources. 

On Ravenclaw’s block, there were a variety of new shops opened, including Little Shoppe of Crystals, which just launched this past year. The shop sold a variety of merchandise from the movie, including character wands. 

On Hufflepuff’s block, there were classic shops like Staunton Antiques, who have been participating in the festival since 2016. 

Because of COVID-19, the festival was absent for the past two years. This year had much more to offer and was organized between Saturday and Sunday, with a long list of activities from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

One new event this year was different characters emerging from the Virginia Scenic Railway train. After, the train took back off with the character waving farewell. 

With traditional British dances being taught throughout the streets and spell casting going on all around, it seems the city of Staunton has no plans to stop the Queen City Mischief and Magic from its traditional yearly plan.