The college newspaper even printed up an edition of The Daily Prophet for the occasion.

By Amy McKeever
October 16, 2015
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Harry Potter and Hogwarts are apparating to Philadelphia this weekend with the return of the city’s annual Harry Potter Festival. The entire neighborhood of Chestnut Hill will transform into Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley—with Chestnut Hill College taking on the role of Hogwarts—for the two-day festival.

Beyond the usual activity booths of other festivals, this one will also have you hunting for horcruxes, taking Defense Against the Dark Arts classes, asking the Sorting Hat whether you’re Gryffindor or Slytherin, and taking in a real-life Quidditch tournament (minus the flying, probably). There’s also even an entire Harry Potter academic conference exploring topics like “The Complexities of Severus Snape” and “Ron Weasley in the Role of Privileged Ally in the HP Series.”

The fourth annual academic conference kicked off the entire weekend this morning with a full slate of lectures at Chestnut Hill College. On the day’s schedule, there are high school student presentations, as well as sessions focused on textual analysis, the psychology of Harry Potter, investigations into the meaning and import of the Harry Potter fandom, and discussions of how the Harry Potter books seek to reduce prejudice. The college newspaper has also printed up an edition of The Daily Prophet for the occasion.

For those who have always wanted to see how Quidditch might be played in real life, you know, where you can’t actually fly on broomsticks, Chestnut Hill College is hosting a round robin Quidditch tournament from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. It features “teams from across the Mid-Atlantic” using broomsticks, snitches, and bludgers in this dodgeball/basketball/rugby fusion game.

But the main event starts Saturday morning just before 11 a.m., when the “Hogwarts Express” arrives in Hogsmeade, or the Chestnut Hill West Septa Station, for an opening ceremony to the festival that will take over Germantown Avenue. There, you’ll see Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Dumbledore lookalikes greeting the crowds, as well as a slew of the previously mentioned Harry Potter-related activities. There will also be magicians, fortune tellers, face painters, and a Serpent of Woodmere straw maze at the Woodmere Art Museum.

The Harry Potter Festival runs until 4 p.m. on Saturday, with a complimentary trolley available for transportation during the festival.