Ironton’s WizardFest, a fan celebration of all things Harry Potter, will return to the historic Ro-Na on Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10.
The event features two full days of activities for “Potterheads,” headlined by appearances from Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in the films; James Payton, who portrayed Frank Longbottom; and Walles Hamonde, who appeared as a high-ranking Aurora in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. daily and run until 8 p.m. Activities include wand dueling games, live animals, a “potions” chemistry show, LEGO exhibits from scenes from the Potter universe, tea leaf reading, an escape room, broom making, a sorting ceremony for each guest, and question-and-answer sessions with the guest actors. Other activities, like workshops on Appalachian folklore and mythology, will be hosted in nearby buildings.
Tickets for WizardFest are $20 for a weekend pass, $15 for Saturday, and $10 for Sunday. Children under 5 are admitted free.
To view a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets online, visit irontonwizardfest.com
Dulcimer artist to play OU Southern
On Saturday, Nov. 9, Ken Kolodner, hammered dulcimer, and son Brad, clawhammer banjo, will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Ohio University Southern Bowman Auditorium. Fiddler and guitarist Rachel Eddy will join the duo for this performance. Admission is $10, tickets are available at the performance, and OU students are admitted free with ID.
The dynamic father-son team weave together a captivating soundscape on hammered dulcimer, banjo, fiddles and vocals pushing the boundaries of the American old-time tradition into uncharted territory. Regarded as one of the most influential hammered dulcimer players and old-time fiddlers in North America, Kolodner, from Baltimore, has joined forces with son Brad, a rising star in the clawhammer banjo world. Together, they infuse their own brand of driving, innovative, tasteful and unique interpretations of traditional and original old-time tunes and songs with a “creative curiosity that lets all listeners know that a passion for traditional music yet thrives in every generation.” They regularly perform as a quartet with fiddler, guitarist and vocalist Eddy, formerly of Uncle Earl, and bassist Alex Lacquement.
Poems and songs
Olive Hill, Kentucky, resident Misty Skaggs, who recently published a book of contemporary Appalachian poetry titled “Planted by the Signs,” will be doing a reading from the Ohio University Press-produced works at Black Sheep Burrito & Brews in Huntington from 9-11 p.m. Friday.
With an eye for details that exquisitely balance personal and social observation to communicate volumes, Skaggs tells the stories of generations of women who have learned to navigate a harsh world with a little help from the Farmers’ Almanac and the stars. The collection is separated into three sections that reference the best times to grow and harvest. Knowing and following these guidelines — planting by the signs — could mean the difference between prosperity and tragedy in the lives of Appalachian families.
She will be joined by singer/songwriter Sasha Colette for the free, all-ages event.
Holly jolly shopping
Mistletoe Market, an annual holiday shopping experience that provides funding to help alleviate hunger in the region, is scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Ramada Limited, 3094 16th Street Road, Huntington.
General admission is $10 and VIP is $25 (includes early access beginning at 4 p.m. and refreshments). Tickets can be purchased at the door and online at www.JLofHuntington.org
“This is one of my favorite Junior League fundraisers, because so many individuals come together for the good of our community — to help kids, families and those in need,” said Huntington Junior League President Cara Cheung. “Proceeds support our mission to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women, and improve communities through vital service projects like our can soup drive and our summer backpack program.”
About 30 vendors are expected and several custom silent auction baskets are up for grabs.