It’s not Quidditch, but it’s just as fun for Harry Potter’s birthday celebration in the park

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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Fourth annual magical birthday celebration Friday at the Covered Bridge Park and downtown shops
By Angela Cutrer
Star correspondent
Harry Potter’s 1980 birth date of July 31 is a big deal to a lot of folks. The magic, the excitement, the power of friendship – both children and adults love the theme of kindness over evil in the books and films that made Harry a boy to remember.
This year, the Harry Potter birthday celebrations in Carter County offer several ways to participate in all the make-believe fun you can shake a magic wand at in real-life Elizabethton this summer.
One is an early birthday celebration in downtown Elizabethton. On Friday, the fourth annual magical birthday celebration for Harry Potter himself will be held during the “Potter in the Park” event. Provided by Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition (CCDP) and Elizabethton Parks and Recreation, it all begins at 6 p.m. at the Covered Bridge Park.
“At Carter County Drug Prevention, one of our greatest focuses is on creating a healthier community,” said Jillian Reece, director of CCDP. “To do that, we have to create opportunities for kids and families to spend time together in healthy ways.
“By partnering with Elizabethton Parks and Rec and the Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library to offer this magical event, we hope that muggles, witches and wizards of all ages will have a safe, fun time interacting with businesses and organizations from throughout our community.”
After meeting up to pick up broomsticks and maps, participants will then head out on a magical journey through downtown Elizabethton to find signs of “Horcruxes” – an object defined in the Harry Potter world as one where a wizard has concealed a part of their soul through magic, rendering them immortal.
“We are excited to invite all wizards, witches, and muggles alike to Potter in the Park: A Harry Potter Birthday event,” said Kelly Kitchens, director of the city of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation’s Programming & Special Events. “Join us Friday … at the Covered Bridge Park for a magical day filled with enchantment and adventure … Get ready to embark on a thrilling scavenger hunt for Horcruxes throughout downtown, test your knowledge in our trivia challenge, showcase your creativity in the cosplay contest, and experience the wonder of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with a special showing beginning at dusk. We can’t wait to see you there!”
Businesses can participate in a variety of different ways, including simply placing a “Horcrux” (provided by CCDP) in their window for participants to find. Better yet, go a step further by providing something more such as an activity for kids, a special deal, food item or game. Any level of participation is welcome!
At 7:30 p.m., participants will head back to the Covered Bridge Park for a cosplay contest, trivia, crafts, activities, snacks, games and more. A special showing of “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” will take place at dusk.
Any business or organization wanting to join Sweetsie Treatz, Red Legacy Recovery, Wayward Springs, Wildwood Flower Company, The Curious Moon Apothecary, August Muse and Rebecca Marr Travel can contact Reece at
That’s not the only way to celebrate the world of Harry Potter. From July 18 to Aug. 4, the Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library is hosting the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibit “Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter’s World.”
Here’s hoping we don’t have to use an “Accio Accio” (the Summoning Charm) to see you in the park on Friday! Quidditch, anyone?

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