At HCC, they're still wild about Harry

March 19, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI |

It's the stuff of broomsticks and gillyweed, horcrux and half-bloods.

It's been a craze of seemingly supernatural proportions.

The series of seven fantasy novels has sold more than 400 million copies, and it is the highest grossing film series of all time.

With the last of the seven novels released and the final film due out in July, many Harry Potter fans are clamoring to keep the "Goblet of Fire" burning.

If the Hagerstown Community College Student Government Association's recent showing of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" was any indication, the series still has a lot of steam.

Student government Vice President Maggie Stone, 21, said the group hosted the showing of the film, which was released in November 2010, to help gear up for the summer release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow, Part 2."

"I'm excited for the new film. We figured other people are, too, and that this was something they would bring their whole family to," Stone said. "People have been showing up and even dressing up."

Around 220 people from infants to senior citizens attended the showings Thursday and Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

The student government also offered Harry Potter activities before the Saturday show time. Attendees brewed potions, crafted Deathly Hallows necklaces, and had their pictures taken with a life-size Harry Potter cutout.

Nell Humphreys, 10, of Hagerstown, sported a black velvet Hogwarts wizard hat, a velvet cape, and a Gryffindor scarf as she crafted round, black Harry Potter eyeglasses.

"I love Harry Potter. I like how he is magic. I love how courageous he is, how fearless he is and how he is always there to save everybody," she said.

Ben Baker, 19, of Williamsport, remembered being enamored with Harry Potter when he was Nell's age.

"I'm sad to see it end," Baker said. "I've grown up with it. It's been such a big part of my childhood."

Brandi Stotlemyer, 19, of Hagerstown, said she believes the Harry Potter phenomenon is due in part to its broad array of characters.

"There are so many different characters, it's impossible not to have someone you can relate to in some way," Stotlemyer said.

Sara Martens, 19, of Smithsburg, who studies English at HCC, wore a Gryffindor shirt and wielded a Hermione Granger wand.

"(Harry Potter) has always been so appealing because it has the fantasy side and because it's relatable," Martens said. "There are teenagers getting into their little hijinks, but it still has it's greater design."

Martens said she hoped Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling would write a "book eight" with one of the series' many interesting minor characters.

"Anything to keep the world alive," she said. "It started in our childhood and progressed into our adulthood."

Stone said she has seen signs that indicate interest in Harry Potter will live on whether Rowling pens another book about him. She pointed to the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Florida.

And she has seen quidditch — the fictional sport — take off through tournaments and events on Facebook.

"I don't think Harry Potter will go away," Stone said. "He'll stay big."

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