Kenyon College has a Harry Potter Day and it’s literally magic
No Muggles allowed, sorry
There’s no set day for Kenyon’s Harry Potter celebration, so it’ll come suddenly on a day when you’ve all but forgotten about it — until you see your professor dressed in Ravenclaw robes and speaking in a British accent. That’s when you rush back to your dorm between classes to get out your own black robe, wand and House colors.
The day is the most magical one of the year and Kenyon students go all out. If it’s your first HP Day at Kenyon or even if you just wish you could participate, here’s how it all goes down.
You must rep your House at all times
At Kenyon, I’d say the most popular Hogwarts House is Hufflepuff. I guess we take pride in seeing ourselves as the quirky, brave and hardworking underdogs — and being excellent finders. In Peirce, our Great Hall for the day, long tables are arranged and students sit by House, just like at Hogwarts. Don’t even think of sitting at another House’s table. It’s all about pride. There’s a costume contest at the end of the day with awards to the most “in character” roles. Even President Decatur even entered the contest as none other than Dumbledore himself.
Dining delights are everywhere
At Peirce, our dining hall famous for making the short list of HP movie filming locations, there are incredibly realistic decorations everywhere to celebrate the day and transform the room into Hogwarts’ Great Hall. There are banners strung up along the ceiling, a Platform 9 ¾ photoshoot area and, of course, tons of HP-themed food. Don’t be alarmed when the menu lists items like “Gillyweed” or “Hagrid’s Rock Cakes”–it’s still delicious, I swear!
Have your wands at the ready
Although Kenyon as a whole hosts the event, Harry Potter Day is actually geared toward kids in the Gambier, OH community. A whole schedule is planned for them, including a make-your-own-wand activity at the bookstore and a huge themed scavenger hunt (gotta find Godric Gryffindor’s sword!) around campus. And, of course, there’s an intense Quidditch match later in the evening.
Gotta study like Granger
Wiggin Street Coffee, Kenyon’s only coffee shop, is quite a popular study spot, especially because Peirce can get overwhelming with so many people in vibrant costumes. For a cozier studying spot, Wiggins is a great place to go–and you can still partake in Harry Potter Day there. The shop offers “butterbeer” iced-coffees and lattes or hot “pumpkin juice” cider to warm you up while you people-watch. People are always coming in and out so you’ll see a lot of interesting costumes without having to participate directly in dressing up.
My personal favorite event of the day is the Harry Potter trivia contest. My friends and I usually form one of many teams that compete (informally) in the game. Each level has a set of 10 questions or so, and if you get them all right you progress to the next. But it gets harder as it goes higher, and so do the stakes. It’s incredibly dorky, but we’re all nerds at Kenyon who want to show-off our Harry Potter obsessions.
It’s such a wonderful tradition at Kenyon, but it’s always over so fast! It’s a great way to break up a daily routine and transition into fall. So many freshmen have told me they regretted not bringing costume materials or participating in the day at all. Just make a quick run to Wal-Mart and maybe you’ll give President Decatur a run for his money in the costume contest next time. Don’t be embarrassed to participate–the more people who let go of their inhibitions and just go with it, the more magical it all is!
So, until next year, mischief managed.