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Midnight magic: Harry Potter release parties planned

Bookstores and libraries in Tigard and Sherwood to celebrate 8th story


COURTESY PHOTO - Local libraries and bookstores are preparing for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with festivities set for Saturday evening at area locations.Harry Potter is back in town — and the town is celebrating.

It’s been nine years since the release of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,' the seventh and final novel in the most popular children’s series in recent decades.

Now, the eighth story is coming to bookshelves worldwide. Author J.K. Rowling teamed up with playwrights to produce a stage production called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” set 19 years after the end of the last novel. While the play is only being performed in London, the story is being released as a “script-book” for readers worldwide on Sunday.

Bookstores and libraries across the Beaverton, Tigard and surrounding region are joining in the festivities.

Here are a few of the celebrations open to all Muggles:

Powell’s Books — Cedar Hills: 3415 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd.

When the clock strikes midnight, Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills will have copies of the new story available to purchase. Until then, the bookstore is hosting a party for fans of all ages.

From 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Potterheads can participate in all kinds of in-store festivities. At 10:30 p.m., the party moves outside, where customers can line up, play trivia games and take selfies at a photo booth.

In full magical spirit, employees will come dressed in their best wizarding costumes.

“A lot of our employees were super excited when the new book was announced,” said Ashley Brantingham, marketing coordinator

Non-alcoholic butterbeer will also served during the event.

Barnes and Noble — Bridgeport Village and Tanasbourne:

Bridgeport Village: 7227 S.W. Bridgeport Rd.

Tanasbourne: 19350 N.W. Emma Way

Games, giveaways, and an epic costume contest are coming to Barnes and Noble, Bridgeport Village, which is hosting its first-ever Harry Potter midnight release party, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday.

It’s been only three years since Barnes and Noble opened its Bridgeport Village location, but employees and customers alike will bring their memories of growing up with the series to the midnight release party.

“So many people are Harry Potter fans,” said store manager Marchelle Hughes. “That magic never really ends.”

As a part of the bookstore chain’s national celebration, Barnes and Noble Tanasbourne will also host a midnight release event.

The Tanasbourne bookstore is celebrating its 20th anniversary and has seen midnight release parties for all seven novels during that time.

Now, fans of all generations are coming back to re-experience the magic of the wizarding world.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said store manager John Trost. “A lot of people get together with same passion for the same characters.

At both events, fans can get sorted into their Hogwarts house, make a wand, take a Wanted Wizard selfie and much more.

MudPuddles Toys & Books Sherwood: 16420 S.W. Langer Dr.

If you’d like to support an independent, neighborhood bookstore, pre-order your copy of the new Harry Potter book from MudPuddles Toys & Books in Sherwood before supplies run out.

Customers who order their copies before store closing on Saturday are invited to pick up the book and join in midnight release festivities.

“We just took a picture with police officers guarding the boxes with the books in them,” said store owner, Kate Noreen, laughing.

The party includes a Muggle Wall, Triwizard Trivia, costume contests, prize drawings and a host of other activities.

The bookstore, which has been around for 17 years, hosted Harry Potter parties as each of the novels were released. Now, the midnight magic is returning.

“Everyone’s missed that,” said Noreen. “We’ve all missed the excitement of waiting for the next one.”

Noreen has seen an influx of excitement from fans who are college-aged and older and grew up reading the series.

The bookstore is thinking about launching a Harry Potter book club for a new generation of young readers.

“We do everything we can to promote the love of reading,” said Noreen.

Quidditch at Tigard Library, 13500 S.W. Hall Blvd.

Get your brooms and wands ready for an epic Quidditch tournament from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, celebrating the newest book in the Harry Potter universe.

The Tigard Public Library’s second-ever Quidditch tournament will offer players a chance to defend hoops, throw quaffles and find the golden snitch (in this case, a stealthy volunteer).

Library volunteers will be on hand to teach newcomers how to play the game, and visitors can cool down afterward with refreshing butterbeer.

With the eighth Harry Potter story on its way, the tournament is a way to for the library to celebrate its return to the wizarding world.

“We wanted to connect the tournament to this historic event,” said Lisa Elliott, young adult librarian.

Hundreds of holds for the book have been placed at libraries across Washington County. Because of the secrecy around the books to prevent spoilers, the library has had to follow strict prohibitions about having the books in the building before the release.

The original seven-book series generated excitement at the library throughout the years. Now, a new generation of readers will have an opportunity to join the fun.

“The series is definitely a gateway into books,” said Elliott. “If Harry Potter is the first series a young readers gets into, that’s a chance to develop a lifelong love of reading.”