See You at Queen City Magic Festival?

I am just off the phone with Prof Louise Freeman, and, yes, we will both be speaking at the Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival (QCMM) this 26-29 September. The Queen City is charming Staunton, Virginia, home to both Mary Baldwin University and the American Shakespeare Center, in the Shenandoah Valley. I couldn’t be happier or more excited. This is a super fan gathering in a beautiful city that turns itself into Hogsmeade for a weekend, a conference that has a little bit of everything and all of it fun and festive.

I trust Louise will tell you more in the coming weeks but here is my hasty introduction to those new to QCMM. From the festival’s website home page:

Wizards and muggles from near and far descend upon Staunton, Virginia for the annual Queen City Mischief & Magic. With a touch of wizardry, the historic downtown is transformed into a magical village, offering themed shopping, dining and hands-on activities for all ages.

Experiment with potions. Enjoy delicious wizard fare and libations. Try your hand at wild beast taming or wizard dueling.

Visitors are greeted by Norberta the Dragon, where selfies and costumes are encouraged. Unlock the secrets of Staunton’s bewitching historic downtown using our Mischief Map. Use Traipse, the free app, to explore our walkable downtown while solving puzzles designed to tickle every wizard’s brain… and maybe find a few treasures along the way.

This is not an academic conference, in other words, akin to either the annual MLA gathering in Albuquerque or the Chestnut Hill College colloquium. QCMM is a fan gathering with a serious egghead side-show of talks about the Harry Potter books and films, talks accessible to all levels of readers. faculty will be featured this year in that aspect of the festival; I’ll be talking about ‘Why We Love Harry Potter’ and Prof Freeman, a Psychology Professor and licensed Behavior Analyst, will discuss ‘Magic and Mental Health.’ In addition to my keynote talk, I’ll be speaking at a local church and in several Mary Baldwin classrooms.

The conference House-elves have a tentative schedule and plan for venues that will be posted soon on the QCMM website, My plan is to arrive Thursday afternoon, and, if at all possible, to catch a play that night at the American Shakespeare Center’s mind-blowing Blackfriar’s Playhouse.

Need I add that I hope to see you there? ‘Not One, but count ’em, Two HogwartsProfessors!’ It promises to be a lot of fun, a feast in fact with a significant helping of quality idea-sharing about the Hogwarts Saga — with a side order of Cormoran Strike — followed by dessert with the Bard — and drinks later at the Hogs Head with other serious readers. I can’t wait.

I learned at the Roanoke Generic Magic Festival in 2017 and its more than 8,000 participants that, indeed, ‘Virginia is For Wizards.’ Join Prof Freeman and me in Staunton 26-29 September 2019 for a fan conference that is free, city-wide (as in ‘check out all the blocked off streets!’), and chock-full of exciting vendors, venues, and visiting Wizard magi. All you need to do is show-up, and, yes, you can bring the whole famn damily in Muggle or wizard regalia, and, of course, you’ll have the time of your lives!

Speak Your Mind