Potter fans pair up in magical speed dates

Herald Staff

A local Harry Potter Alliance Group is inviting the community to a first-time event: Harry Potter Speed Dating. The event is meant to be a fun way to have the club-members interact with one another while pretending to be their favorite fictional characters.

“This is an event that the members came up with as a fun event that will allow them to dress and play as their favorite character in a speed dating event,” Bertena Varney, Chapter Coordinator and Advisor, said. “There will be characters from the original Harry Potter Series, Fantastic Beasts, and Cursed Child. This is the first time for the event but the challenging thing so far is to get people to really ‘let go’ and have fun. We have been so active with social issues this past year that we just wanted to have fun.”

This event is put on by the Fandom of the Phoenix-The Harry Potter Alliance, an international group that focuses on social activism efforts such as the Accio Book Drive, the Harry Potter Reading Night and the More Love Letters Campaign. J.K. Rowling recognizes the group and the Bowling Green Community Chapter currently has over 25 members.

The group is using the Harry Potter Speed Dating event as a way to celebrate their one-year anniversary and encourage membership with anyone in the community above 18.

“I hope that this event will bring more people with a passion for Potter to our group,”  Kae Delph, the Vice President of the Fandom of the Phoenix, said.  “I’m hopeful that new people can see what we see in these books and movies — a new way to see our community and a way to make this world a better place, little by little.”

According to Delph, planning the event helped the members to engage with the books and expand their “creative freedom.”

“It really hasn’t been super challenging — we have an amazing group of creative people that have helped come up with starter questions for everyone to think about when getting into character and everyone is super excited,” Delph said. “I think maybe the hardest part is the characters we know the least about, but then again this is a chance for fans to make predictions, albeit small ones, and have a little creative freedom.”

Delph believes that activities like speed dating will allow the community to see the links between the social justice issues in the books and the real world, encouraging them to make a difference.

“I really think activities like this force us to stop and think about these characters as real people,” Delph said. “They have many amazing quirks and complexities and these are what make them so relatable. When we think about the characters in this way, we are then able to look past just the characters Rowling has created and see the social issues that they are struggling with so that we can find those a little more easily in our world and help in any way we can.”

Varney says the event will be used as a fun way for the members of the club to let loose, and break free from the seriousness of the social justice issues the group focuses on.

“During the event the characters will be doing speed dating just as it is in real life. They may ask questions such as ‘what is your patronus?’ or even questionable ones such as ‘how long is your wand?’” Varney said. 

The Fandom of the Phoenix hopes that this event will encourage membership and promote awareness. The Harry Potter Speed Dating event will take place at the Bob Kirby Library at 6:30 on Tuesday, January 24, and attendants must be 18 years or older to attend. Once at the event, participants will be given a character and a list of questions to go off of.

“Just come and hang out with us,” Delph said. “The more people participating, the better.”

Reporter Kalee Chism can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected]