My first big trip of the summer was just after Quilt Week. Chloe and I headed down to Orlando, FL for her birthday/graduation gift- a trip to Leaky Con 2011. This conference dedicated to all things Harry Potter took place just outside of the Universal Studios theme park (home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter).
The conference went for 4 days, with an additional Lit Day at the start. Lit Day programming involved talks by authors who were influenced by the Harry Potter series. Let me say first thing that I don't pretend to understand the whole Harry Potter fandom. There were many activities that didn't appeal to me, but Chloe loved it all. I enjoyed seeing her delight in meeting authors, musicians and actors. I attended the more academic lectures and otherwise went around with my camera capturing moments from the conference.
The opening festivities were full of Harry Potter fandom music (Wizard Rock), entertainment and a tribute to JK Rowling. Then we all headed off to Wizarding World for a private party- all rides and food included.
The following day there were all sorts of activities from those of a more academic nature, to the purely fun. We ended the day with an early evening showing of the final Harry Potter movie.
The next day we were delighted to have a chance to hear from some of the actors from the series. The most famous of these were Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley), and Scarlett Byrne (Pansy Parkinson).
Some of the younger actors from the last movie were also there and they were quite delightful, being younger and a little more open to questions. All of these actors except for Chris Rankin were available to meet at a signing, so we did that as well.
The Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball was a great way to spend the final evening. The crowd got to dance the night away. The young actors and Evanna and Scarlett joined the ball by dancing on the stage. At the Goodbye Brunch it was announced that $120,000 was raised and donated to several charities.
While all this was going on, Mark was hard at work at home starting the move to our new house. We arrived home with two days to finish moving before leaving for Europe. It was a very hectic time, as you might imagine. More to come as the summer saga continues!