On August 6, Northside Library transformed into Hogwarts, the wizarding school in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, for its second anniversary party, a Harry Potter Day. Children washed down cake with butter beer, a sweet carbonated drink made with cream soda, heavy cream, caramel and butterscotch syrups. Carrying on another tradition in the book series, attendees nibbled on jelly beans with unconventional flavors, such as grass, vomit, dead fish and dirty socks. Library foundation board member Raj Chahal read off winning raffle numbers for copies of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” About 1,600 people, some in costumes, participated in Harry Potter Day, sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends.
“Because ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ came out on July 31, we thought it would be cool to have the literary theme of Harry Potter for our two year anniversary because it’s such an iconic book series,” says Cheryl Lee, branch manager and program coordinator. “[A few years ago], this building was vacant and then we had many people in the community, including Roger and Estela Ramirez, Kathy Watanabe, former library foundation executive director Maria Daane and current library foundation executive director Tracy Wingrove, who spearheaded the fight to open the library. This building opened through the efforts of these community members and many more.”
On the patio, Ellice Nisbet, 12, and her sister, Natania Nisbet, 14, enjoyed playing Quidditch, a sport that involves “flying” on broomsticks so the assigned seeker can catch a winged ball called a snitch.
“They gave us brooms to ride on and hula hoops for goals,” says Ellice Nisbet, dressed up as the house elf Dobby. “There were balloons and snitches that looked like ping pong balls.”
“If you tap someone on the head with a balloon, they become ‘out’ and must recite the alphabet from A to Z,” says Natania Nisbet. She came dressed as the quirky Luna Lovegood, a character that some fans of the book series have argued would have been a suitable romantic match for Harry Potter.
In the community room, guests watched the movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” while they crafted wands, snitches, neck ties and crests for Hogwarts houses.
“I helped my brother make snitches,” says Emily Uyleman, 10. “We also went to the different stations to do the arts and crafts and coloring.”
“My daughter decorated the edges of a chopstick with a glue gun and then painted it pink to create her wand,” says Carolyn Castagnetto, who brought her three year-old daughter and six month-old son.