Calling all wizards and magic lovers! September 28-30 marks the third annual Queen City Mischief and Magic, a weekend when Staunton transforms into a fantasy village. Business names change, the culture changes, and food and drinks change. Use a Mischief Map to unlock the secrets of Staunton’s charmed downtown. Experiment with potions and enjoy wizard refreshments. Try your hand at wild-beast taming or wizard dueling. This entertaining and family-friendly festival is not to be missed!
Queen City Mischief & Magic is a homegrown fan event created for our local community to celebrate and grow our appreciation for the Harry Potter books and film series. Warner Bros. Entertainment and J.K. Rowling are not responsible for or affiliated with this event.
The list of activities and businesses continues to grow. Get your daily update at Queen City Mischief & Magic website. Here is a sampling of the weekend’s magical fun:
- Get the weekend started by cheering your favorite team at the Quidditch Games on Friday. Matches will be held at 6 and 7 p.m. The championship game begins at 8 p.m.
- Find your way to The Flaming Arena behind Suntrust Bank Friday and Saturday night. The Queen City Fire Circus will be performing free shows. 7:30 and 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday.
- Love to run? Head over to the Frontier Culture Museum for the Firebolt 5K (8 a.m. Saturday morning). Quaff a speed potion and sprint for a PR or don your costume and take advantage of the selfie stops along the way.
- Meet your favorite fantasy characters as you stroll through town enjoying the festival. Rumor has it that this year mermaids might splash you!
- See more costumed characters arrive by train at 10 a.m. Saturday! You never know who you might see.
- Selfie spots will abound at the festival. Plan to pose with Norberta the Dragon or a unicorn. Check out the dragon and fairy thrones at the Magic Paintbrush Gallery (Co-Art Gallery) and the selfie spots and activities in Nonprofit Alley. Remember to tag your photos with #LoveStaunton and #qcmm18.
- Let the kids get creative with a variety of free and inexpensive activities like coffee grind finger painting, tic-tac-toe art games, scavenger hunts, and stations to make wands, neckties, snitches, and spellbooks.
- Shmooze with a 20-foot long python! Indulge your inner herpetologist at a reptile show starring an amazing presenter from Reptile World. If you’re into owls, visit the Wine Cellar and learn all about them. You can even buy an owl pellet of your very own!
- All these animals making you lonely? Take home a new pet made by a balloon animal artist.
- Flaunt your wizard robes as you explore town or strut your stuff in the costume showcase. Top off your magical look with face painting & fairy hair. See the photos from previous years for inspiration.
- Learn the tricks of forced-perspective as you watch 3-D chalk artists bring their work to life.
- If you’ve been polishing your five-piece endgame, now is the time to try your hand at wizards’ chess.
- Solve some fantasy-themed riddles, tour the town, and hunt for prizes with Traipse, a free app for your cell phone. Available in two levels of difficulty. PLUS: check in on Traipse to earn House Points!
- Why not learn something while you’re in town? Choose from potions classes, defense against dark arts demos, and spell casting & dance lessons
- Plan to take one of the fantasy-based tours at various sites, including a ministry of magic and a wizard’s hut, where you might encounter a ridgeback dragon!
- Many businesses will be giving away special wizard cards. Can you be the first to nab them all?
- Let the little ones party on their own at the Wizard Play Academy playspace for ages 1-5 at Pufferbellies Toys & Books until 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday. Enjoy wizard-themed activities including dress ups, potion mixing, and chilling with the magical beasts. Free.
- Did you get into wizard school? Grab your acceptance letters and get sorted into a particular house of magic.
- Choose your wand. Rather, let a wand choose you! Purchase wooden wands at Pufferbellies Toys & Books or glass wands at Sunspots Studios.
- Magical Musical Delights organ concert features favorite tunes from stage and screen, including a suite specially created from the music from the Harry Potter films. Concert time is 3 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church. For the older crowd, enjoy the story of Phantom of the Opera, on the big screen, accompanied on a Taylor and Boody pipe organ by international sonic artist, Peter Krasinski. Concert starts at 7 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church.
- Watch the hot glass wizards at Sunspots Studios create flaming goblets and other magic with molten glass, including glowing wands, oracle orbs, owls, pumpkins, & more!
- Test your Harry Potter knowledge with Trivia! Head over to the Trivia Lair aka Cranberry’s to participate.
- Have your hands in herbology by decorating a pot and growing your own “mandrake” at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. We hear you might see Hermione there, too!
- Appropriate for all ages, no admission fee required. Some activities will require a small participation fee.
- Times and locations for activities will be available at the official Queen City Mischief & Magic website and will be published in the QCMM Map which will be available electronically and in print in numerous locations throughout the weekend.
- There will be FREE shuttles running a constant circuit from both the Mischief lot (old Dice’s Inn parking lot) at 216 Frontier Drive and the Staunton Mall at 90 Lee Jackson Highway. The Magic lot (Federated Auto Parts Warehouse lot) at 851 Statler Blvd — TO — the corner of Market and Beverley Streets in Downtown Staunton.
- Staunton will have limited parking downtown. Please refer to this map that shows where vehicular traffic and parking will be restricted.
- Keep an eye on the schedule as more activities are added.