Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Christopher Tkaczyk
September 01, 2016

September 1, known to some as Hogwart’s Day, marks the beginning of the semester at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

But soon, witches and wizards won’t need to travel to London’s King’s Cross Station to board a magical train to school.

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For two days in October, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore will greet passengers on SEPTA trains departing from Philadelphia’s Jefferson Station, and escort them on the Hogwarts Express to the popular wizard festival that has become an annual event in Chestnut Hill.

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On the weekend of October 20-22, the neighborhood of Chestnut Hill will be transformed into the village of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley for the Harry Potter Festival and Quidditch Tournament.

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The free annual event includes a six-block street fair with shops, themed cuisine, and restaurants decorated to evoke the Great Hall at Hogwarts and Hogsmeade Station. Fans can mix potions, take Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, use the sorting hat, and play wizard chess. The quidditch tournament, also known as the Philadelphia Brotherly Love Cup, is also free.

There’s even a butter beer pub crawl: Tickets are $10 and go on sale Wednesday September 28 at 10 a.m.

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For the bookworms, the local Chestnut Hill College hosts a Harry Potter Conference to discuss J.K. Rowling’s body of work.

While the SEPTA trains won’t be physically transformed to look like the Hogwarts Express train in the Warner Brothers films, actors will be onboard dressed as characters from the Potter stories to greet Potterheads and escort them to the festival, according to Huffington Post.

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In other Potter news, King’s Cross Station celebrated Hogwart’s Day today by posting an unusual time schedule on its departure screens.

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Christopher Tkaczyk is the Senior News Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ctkaczyk.

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