This is a sold-out Harry Potter themed not-for-profit event that ran 100% by volunteers to support the The Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society (SOLRS). It’s an event for Harry Potter fans to have a chance to cosplay to be their favourite character and add some magical moments to their everyday life.
First of all, I am not a Harry Potter fan, but I love magic, steam trains, antiques, historic costumes and a little escape from the reality!
After about 1 and a half hour drive from Toronto, we parked our car and left behind our reality life, we hopped on the wagon that drove us to the event at Waterloo Central Railway Museum. We got off the wagon to the check in counter hearing Harry Potter music in the background to bring us into the imaginary world of magic and spells. We were there at around 3pm, it’s not crowded at all. Most of the people wearing costume, also not hard to see costumed actors and volunteers around.
The first building we got in is an antique decor and design store called Artefacts. They salvaging items like windows, doors, wood panels, door nobs, etc. from buildings then refurbish it. If you want to add a vintage touch to your home, this should be a perfect place to find some unique pieces. Although it’s not a temporary exhibition, it is always there open for public to shop, I think it matches to the theme nicely. If I didn’t go to this event, I wouldn’t know this great place where we can get vintage decors from! What a cool discovery!
The stationary historic steam engine is one of the attractions of the magical festival! We were allowed to hop up into one to have a look at the inside of the caboose, which is the accommodations for the train crew.
At the main activities building of the event, they set up the stage to look like Hogwarts’ great hall. There we can get a cartoon portrait done by a volunteer artist, take pictures with the Hogwarts moving paintings, go behind the big face cutout Harry Potter posters to be one of the characters (no costume, no problem), practice your spells penmanship on the tracing activity sheet. On the stage, The Lovegoods, a rock band performing the songs they wrote about the magical world of Harry Potter. Pretty entertaining to see their performance and listen to the songs! The playful lyrics will put a smile on your face. 😆
Outside the building, there were some interesting booths including one that demonstrates and displays handmade blacksmiths works.
Another one called White’s Wands that most of the Harry Potter fans would love, which is selling handcrafted one-of-a-kind magic wands made out of wood sticks. If you are planning to be one of the characters of Harry Potter on Halloween and missing a wand, they can help you with that.
Before we leave the festival, we caught an amazing fun to watch magic show. Some say it’s not worth the visit because it’s more like a high school carnival run by students. Not 100% agree to that, but it’s only their first year to have it and I think there’s room for improvements. If there are more decorations, a backdrop for taking pictures with the costumed actors, more exhibitions about the magical Hogwarts would be great. The best thing they did was the crowd control by not over sold the tickets. After all it’s a not-for-profit volunteers run event and I really appreciate their effort to help support the SOLRS to restore more historical steam trains for us to ride.
Date: September 30, 2017