Reflections on a Wizarding Spectacular Event at the Folk Hall!

On Saturday 29th October we welcomed budding witches and wizards to our magical Wizarding Wonders event! A day for families to come and enjoy a series of activities including flying owls, potion making, crafting and a special showing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Our aim was to put together a special event for people to come to during the October Half term and give families something different but also something reasonably priced that would blow them away. Tickets sold out in a week and a half, so it is safe to say the pressure was on to get everything in place for our 100 guests. After months of hard work, it all came together and I can safely say, looking back now, that we delivered!

Join us for a quick trip back to see what happened!

Upon arrival our prospective students were handed their Folk Hall School of Witchcraft and Wizardry letters and sorted into our very own houses for the duration of the day! We had Unicorn, Phoenix and Dragon, the letters also contained a little message from our very own Headmaster Josephus Rowntree (I thought I was very clever with this…)

Each group was then taken to one of our amazing activities for the day. We had the wondrous Flying Squadron who are a collection of different owls. Guests were treated to a talk about these creatures and also got to witness some flying displays from our feathered friends. We had a chance for people to get creative. In the Eatery they could make and decorate their own wands, colour their own choice of Hogwarts house and also do a selection of quizzes and fun activities! Guests were taken to a potions class, led by the brilliant York Potions Cauldron! They got to make their very own magical drink and drink it themselves whilst under the very capable tutelage of the potions master!

Finally, the students passed through Platform 9 and ¾ and were taken into the Great Hall, filled with floating candles, pumpkins, gold coins, flickering table lights and the magical Great Hall ceiling. They got to enjoy their very own packed lunch, supplied by Choose 2 Youth, which had Pumpkin Pasties, Butterbeer Cookies, Golden Snitch Balls and Roast Beef in a Yorkshire Pudding Wrap. On the table we had fresh fruit provided by Georges Greens and golden cake pops made by our very own Lisa of the Folk Hall Café. Before the film began, they collected their Butterbeer, then sat down to enjoy Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

It was brilliant and we loved how many people turned up, including all of the staff, in full costume. It made it such a magical experience; a couple of costumes were so good they won special prizes as part of our costume competition!

We have already received some amazing feedback and we are delighted it has been received so well!

Hats off to all the staff at the New Earswick Folk Hall who put on a fantastic event for the community today. We thoroughly enjoyed their Wizarding Wonders screening of Harry Potter, and all the brilliant activities they had put on, including potion making, meeting owls and the great feast. Fantastic attention to detail all round, very well organised and extremely enjoyable. Huge thanks and congratulations to all involved.

Had a lovely time at New Earswick Folk Hall Wizarding Wonders Day, amazing value. The staff had put so much effort into the day. The hall looked stunning, we can’t wait for the next one 🎃😊. Thanks to everyone who put it all together.

I just wanted to thank you for the truly magical Wizarding event on Saturday. I attended with my two grandsons aged 8 and 10 who both have autism. It is normally quite difficult to get them to leave the house, but they were keen to come (devoted Harry Potter fans) and the afternoon exceeded expectations. They especially loved the potions class. We were quite overwhelmed by the Great Hall and table decorations, and general Hogwarts atmosphere. The attention to detail was impressive. Thanks too, to NERF who helped make it possible. Well done to everyone who worked so hard to make it a success. We felt really welcome as a family and the Hogwarts theme was an ideal way of bringing the generations together.

Time to say thanks!

We also have to offer some big thanks to all the activities, people and organisations that helped make the event happen and be as good as it was!

Thank you to The York Potions Cauldron and Stuart for putting on a great potions class, we had a number of people say that it was their favourite part of the event. Also thank you for setting aside time for this community activity during one of the busiest times of the year for you! Thank you to Amy and the Flying Squadron, what a great display and the look of wonder on some of the children’s faces was a delight to see. The crafting activity was made that much easier to manage thanks to Izzy, one of the Explore Library volunteers, giving up her Saturday afternoon to come help people get creative!

A special thank you has to go to Sam from Film at the Folk Hall, not only did he make sure the film ran smoothly as always but throughout the day he was invaluable supporting the team, making sure groups got where they needed to be and providing an extra support element for the team.

Moving on to food we would like to thank, firstly, Georges Greens for providing a selection of fresh fruit for people to enjoy in the Great Hall. Our very own Lisa from the Folk Hall Café made the fantastic gold cake pops, which were absolutely scrumptious. Finally, thanks to Choose 2 Youth for putting together and delivering all of the wizarding food on time, well packaged and helping us support anyone with extra dietary requirements!

None of this would have been possible though without the Funding provided to us by NERF and JRHT. Without their support we couldn’t have put something like this together that allowed us to keep the tickets affordable during these challenging times. It is something we were very conscious of and wanted to deliver a great event but not make it too expensive and thus prevent the community from attending.

That is all for now, thank you for reading, and we will see you at the next event!