Photo by Cameron Pollack

ITHACA, N.Y. — On Friday, it will be exactly 196 days until Wizarding Weekend kicks off in Ithaca. But for some Harry Potter fanatics, that’s too long to wait for a magical experience.

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Luckily, Risley Hall at Cornell University has Potterheads covered with ‘A Night in Hogwarts,’ happening from  5 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Friday.

Photo by Cameron Pollack

“We’re the spring fix for Harry Potter,” said organizer Erin Barlow, a senior Biology and English student at Cornell. She’s been to ‘A Night in Hogwarts’ since she was a freshman.

The following year, she dressed as the official Hermione Granger for the event and then was Molly Weasley for her junior year at Cornell. This year, Barlow fittingly will be Headmistress Minerva McGonagall.

She’s also helped organize the events in collaboration with Risley Dining Hall organizers, who will have themed food for up to 600 meals Friday night.

The Hall, Barlow said, was modeled after Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral, where the Harry Potter movies’ Great Hall scenes were filmed.

Attendees at the event can expect to see actors dressed as characters from the books and films, themed food like chocolate frogs, and live owls from the Cornell Raptor Program.

It’s the second time in less than a year the raptors have made appearances at. They were also at the Wizarding Weekend on Halloween, which saw at least 8,000 attendees.

“I certainly enjoyed the one in October,” Barlow said, but added that it was a much bigger event than Risley Hall is hosting.

“It was unclear to me whether or not this October event would draw attention away from our event in April or make it more popular. We will see,” she said.

Barlow said she remembers at least 1,600 people coming to the Cornell event in the past, though not everyone was able to get a themed meal from the dining hall.

Tickets to the event are free and being passed out at Willard Straight Hall and at the Risley Dining Room in order to limit the number of attendees. But there is a charge at the door of one meal swipe for students or $20 (age 13+), $10 (age 7-12) or free (age under 7).

Those without tickets won’t be turned away at the door, though.

Barlow said attendees can still enjoy the common areas and interact with the actors.

For more information about the event, visit the Facebook page for the event here. 

If a night at Risley Hall isn’t enough for Harry Potter fans, here’s the new ”Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ movie trailer:

Fantastic Beasts – Teaser TrailerIt’s here! Check out the teaser trailer for #FantasticBeasts and don’t miss all the magic in theaters this November.

Posted by Fantastic Beasts Movie on Sunday, April 10, 2016

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.