Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Creative people rock (party a smashing success)

Wow. We really pulled it off! Almost 100 people came to my library's Potter party, and oh, what fun it was!

When kids arrived we gave them a packet with trivia games, the Hogwarts school song, a raffle ticket and a wristband. I had decorated the table with a big piece of black fur, a handmade Monster Book of Monsters, and the coolest "flame" lamp that I found on the internet.

The room was pretty simple. We had put up a fake stonework dado on the lower half of the wall. Thania made some delightful Hogwarts House banners, purple lights hung from the ceiling, and Trelawney's nook was lined with a flickering "flame" lamp, old lace tablecloths and scarves. Other tables just had black plastic with hologram confetti sprinkled for sparkle. The food table was decorated with 2 huge spiders but that didn't deter anyone from helping themselves to licorice wands, pretzel wands, oatmeal cookies and Belinda's Burpless Butterbeer. I was puzzled as to what to do with the bulletin boards: one became a window onto a nighttime landscape; on the other (covered in white butcher paper) people were invited to write a letter to J.K. Rowling.

Hagrid (Fergus) knows how to hold the attention of 10-11 year old kids. He taught a class in care of magical creatures. His table had various floating specimens in peanut butter jars, an exploding frog (sadly, it later exploded) in a chest, a kitty crate from a baby boggart that needed to be cleaned out with what appeared to be green slimy droppings, and ziplog bags labeled "Bog dirt" and "graveyard dirt." Bog and graveyard dirt are apparently ingredients for a mash fed to baby boggarts. ew. Other ingredients included unicorn droppings and something so gooey and purple that I didn't *want* to know what it was. He then made everyone's stomach turn by testing a nibble to see if it was OK. Throughout the evening he could be seen offering the mash to everyone. It tasted surprisingly like purple gooey chocolate cake.

Simon Wayfarer the from the Ministry of Magic's Dept. of Education was next. He flossed people's ears, amazed with rope tricks, and did a truly amazing levitation illusion. I can't believe I missed the bit with the vanishing box! Simon is also a member of the Celtic group The Whiskey Bards. I hope to hear them perform soon.

Madam Trelawney told fortunes next, and had us in stitches with her (mis)fortunes like "For the next 5 years the only part of your body that will grow will be your nose" and "Your dog will win best of breed at the Westminster Dog Show in the werewolf category." Was that sherry in your McDonald's cup, my dear?

Professor Snape proved to be a surprisingly good teacher of the Patronus. We all pointed wands (some pointed licorice sticks), thought of a happy moment and shouted "Expecto Patronum" together, which was amazingly empowering. It was also cool to hear what kids said their "happy moments" were. Unfortunately something went wrong and Snape was forced to sing a song! I believe it went to the tune of the Animals song "Don't let me be Misunderstood."

Other professors attending included Professors Sprout (Thania) and Moody (Dennis); I played Molly Weasley in red hair, dowdy shoes and a full bib apron from the 1950's. My job was to make sure everyone got fed (successful) and to keep Hagrid in line (a glorious failure). Thanks also to teen volunteers Yun and Jessica, and to my colleagues Roxanna and Bethany. It wouldn't have happened without you!

Favorite moments included two third grade girls who came in capes their moms made and the sweetest striped stockings. And when Cepheus took 10 points from a Ron Weasley who was heckling Simon's magic act. Next year we should have prefects!

Then we had our doorprize raffle of cool stuff courtesy of Scholastic Bookfairs, and it was all over. Well, except the clean-up. sigh.

Gawd, I love working with creative people who give it their all. It's just such a joyous thing. Pictures coming soon.

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