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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Levi Burton crafts a wand with his mother, Kortney, at Saturday's Potterfest at the downtown library.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Chris and Grace accompany their grandmother Debby at the Harry Potter Festival in the Allen County Library Saturday afternoon.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Sierra Engel and her mother Tara participate in one of the many Harry Potter themed game tables at the Allen County Library during the Harry Potter Festival Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, June 17, 2018 1:00 am

Library hosts celebration for Harry Potter

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Zoie Iceton read her first Harry Potter book in third grade.

“She was a little bookworm at the time,” her mother, Alexis Iceton, said at the downtown Allen County Public Library waiting to make their next move at the Harry Potter Festival, or Potterfest, on Saturday.

“I'm still a bookworm,” Zoie, 12, a student at Northwestern Middle School in Kokomo, told her mother. She has read all seven Harry Potter books and she and her friend, Emily Lyles, also 12, wore Harry Potter black capes, immediately recognizable to any of the 3,000 or so people who attended the event.

That was the attendance Nate Burnard, the main library manager, estimated as people from babies in strollers to adults in their 40s swarmed the library.

Potterfest was created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the series' first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” Burnard said. Written by J.K. Rowling, the magical tales became a best-selling phenomenon.

Burnard, 41, picked up the first book in college and liked the characters enough to read all seven, he said.

Potterfest didn't end Saturday. Traveling events on potions, magical instruction, divination art, jewelry-making, wand-making, Hogsmeade tastings, tournament games and other activities will be available at all the library branches this month and in July. A list of the events and times can be found on the library website,

Emily Lyles said she first read Harry Potter in the fifth grade.

“My mom put two books on the table and said pick one,” she recalled. The other one was the Hunger Games series.

Like Zoie, she likes the characters, the beasts, the “mythical stuff,” and well, everything, she said.

But the girls couldn't stay in Fort Wayne; they had a Pokemon party to go to in their hometown