Wirksworth Wizarding Day a huge success

Wirksworth Wizarding Day was a huge success as 7,000 fans of Harry Potter descended on the town on Saturday 20 October. The event started as an idea by Potter fans Bill Bevan and Sally-Anne Swindell, and turned into one of the Peak District’s biggest and friendliest family events in its first year.

The sun shone, wands were waved, and fancy dress costumes worn in a festival atmosphere that was also a great boost for local trade. Wizarding activities were held around town, shops, cafes and pubs dressed their windows, and local charity Aquabox raised almost £2,000 for their disaster relief work.

The day also saw the launch of Wizard Works, the region’s first Harry Potter shop selling official gifts, toys, games, sweets, posters and t-shirts from the Harry Potter series as well as the Fantastic Beasts films.

Opened by Bill and Sally-Anne in a distinctive old shop, Wizard Works looks like it is straight out of Diagon Alley with a broomstick hanging up inside and a cauldron outside. In fact, Wirksworth’s shops and cafes do a good impression of the wizards’ shopping street and Harry Potter fans will feel at home walking around town.

Sally-Anne said “The shop had a queue of hundreds during the Wizarding Day and we almost sold out. Due to its success we will open Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of January, and look forward to welcoming Harry Potter fans from across the region. The shop may stay open throughout 2019 if it is a success.”

You can find out more about Wizard Works on their public Facebook page https://facebook.com/WizardWorksUK.

Most Wizarding Day visitors were from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire – though they also came from Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, and as far away as Devon and Kent. For some it was their first visit to Wirksworth and they left with memories of a friendly and distinctive town.

Organisers are looking for a date in October 2019 for the second Wirksworth Wizarding Day – and will announce it early in the new year. In the mean time they have founded the Wirksworth School of Magic to offer magical and wizarding activities throughout the year. Their first events are magician and make a wish spell bag workshops for the Christmas Street Market on the 25th November. Details are published at www.gowirksworth.com 

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