The Harry Potter madness of Farmington 20 years later

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FARMINGTON – Harry potter fans around the world are delighted with HBO Max’s release of the special twentieth anniversary reunion of the world-famous series, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: ​​Return to Hogwarts, “On New Years Day. The series was first released on paper in 1997 and in theaters in 2001.

The reunion brings back an abundance of nostalgia for the locals who remember the show’s real-time release, and for the fans – old, young, and of all ages – who jumped in on every new book and movie.

The special reunites the cast, directors and main cast to look back at JK Rowling’s prolific series about an orphan who learns he’s a wizard (and one of the most famous, for that matter) and over the course of seven books. fight the forces of evil trying to end the world. It’s hard to sum up the series in one sentence when it’s so much more than that. The series creates a vast, living universe that has evolved over time to become “the best-selling novel series of all time.”

Of course, the reunion was not without controversy given that author Rowling did what many believe to be incredibly offensive comments about transgender people in recent years.

But amid the controversy, the 20th anniversary gave Farmington the opportunity to look back on his “Harry potter mania ”, a time when many parties were organized and creativity was abundant in the local bookstore and cinema.

At Devaney, Doak & Garrett, owner Kenny Brechner remembers reading those first books and feeling the world was going to eat them before they became the major hits they are now.

“I knew it was a good thing, good stuff,” Brechner said. “I loved it and my son loved it. “

Brechner said that after reading the first two, he quickly started recommending them to his customers, who are always “extremely grateful” – not just for the read recommendation, but for purchasing the worthy first American editions. now a lot of money.

Although he found the early books a bit ‘derivative’, Brechner was amazed at how quickly the books evolved – as was the fandom around them.

By the third book, Prisoner of azkabanBrechner noticed how the series took such a turn and customers began to respond in turn.

“This [third book release] It was the first time that we had a group of people waiting for its release, ”said Brechner. DDG had people lining up when the store opened particularly early to sell the new addition to the series.

Book four, The goblet of fire, this is where things really changed for DDG and the locals.

Brechner fondly recalled the efforts of the bookstore and dedicated locals to give fans a taste of the magic during release season.

DDG began to organize book release parties, where they had stations for clients (children and adults) to take “herbology” and “divination” tests (two subjects of the fictional “School of Witchcraft and Witchcraft” of Hogwarts’ Witchcraft), answer questions and buy the book at midnight.

“In fact, we’ve done that with some of the best store customers who’ve kind of worked with us… we’ve been thinking about it,” Brechner said.

These liberation parties evolved into the elaborate business from Books Six and Seven. There was a basil cake seven feet long; final exams in Hogwarts subjects; a fictitious resistance group (similar to the “Order of the Phoenix” series) called the “Order of Acromantula”; customers and staff dressed up.

The highlight of the show was an intricate scene in which Ministry of Magic officials arrested Brechner, dressed as a rebel “Order” member, and dragged him out of the store.

The most surprising addition were research poster frames for “Death Eaters” in the storefront. Local figures such as now Governor Janet Mills (a Farmington native), disguised as Bellatrix Lestrange and other Death Eaters posed for the wanted poster in the storefront. Sadly, Brechner said he doubts any footage is still visible.

At the Narrow Gauge Cinema, events were also held for the film’s releases, especially the last in the series, owner John Moore said.

Moore and the staff decorated the cinema lobby with candles, hosted a costume party (for staff and fans) and other unique elements at the Harry potter universe.

As the series progressed, Moore said he saw “this anticipation built up” in buying tickets, waiting for seats, and so on. He added that it’s something you don’t see these days in a more digital age.

Similar to the the Lord of the Rings and dusk series, Moore said that the “really huge build-up” led “people to camp out at four or early in the morning.”

“It doesn’t happen anymore, those days are over,” he said.

Moore said the Harry potter The outings brought “a feeling of happiness and optimism” with which to “work with pleasure”.

“The [movie] the outings didn’t feel like work, ”said Moore.

Moore added that they were united in a very special way. Brechner agreed.

“We’ve had all ages engaged around a single book,” Brechner said. “It was really special. There was a lot of waiting. “

Brechner said he’s never seen such excitement for a series. He added that he had also never seen a series bring all the generations together like Harry potter. Fans and party attendees, Brechner said, were between eight and 80 years old.

For his part, Moore feels that he will not soon see another series with this kind of impact on “the horizon”.

Brechner agreed that there is nothing like it these days and that the ending – both of the series and of the excitement DDG was in – was “bittersweet”.

“We were proud of how it turned out,” Brechner said. “It left a legacy of more reading… [and the releases, parties] strengthened our role and core values ​​of being a community bookstore.

Particularly amid the struggles of the past two years, Moore said the world could use something “as cheerful and unifying” as Harry potter once again.

“You can’t help but compare this time of excitement and wonder and celebration, really, to where we are now,” added Moore. “We could use more Harry potters in the world right now.

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