Fans of the Harry Potter series will have the opportunity to be part of the magical world in November when the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Regional Quidditch Championship comes to Green Hill Park.
Representatives for Roanoke County Parks, Recreation & Tourism and the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau joined members of the Virginia Tech Quidditch team to make the announcement on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Green Hill Park.
“Visitation equals spending, equals jobs, equals tax revenues,” said Landon Howard, president of Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We get to come together as friends and do something that we love,” said Kitty Schaffernoth, president of the Virginia Tech Quidditch team, who offered a short demonstration Wednesday. “We’re so excited that Regionals is here in our backyard.”
For those not familiar with the series, here’s a quick rundown from a release from the International Quidditch Association: “A quidditch team is made up of seven athletes with brooms between their legs at all times. Three chasers score goals worth 10 points each with a volleyball called the quaffle. A keeper defends the goals. Two beaters use dodge balls called bludgers to disrupt the flow of the game by ‘knocking out’ other players. Any player hit by a bludger is out of play until she touches her own goals. Each team has a seeker who tries to catch the snitch. The snitch is a ball attached to the waistband of the snitch runner, a neutral athlete dressed in yellow who uses any means to avoid capture. The snitch is worth 30 points and its capture ends the game.”
Here’s a video of the demonstration by the Tech team:
The tournament, taking place Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4, isn’t just about Quidditch. Spectators (and Muggles!) are welcome to attend, and Saturday will be jam-packed with Harry Potter-related activities, from 10 a.m to 5 p.m., according to Wendi Schultz, special events coordinator for Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The parks department has planned its version of the Triwizard Tournament with the Snitch Scavenger Hunt, O.W.L. Exams for Harry Potter trivia (different levels of expertise will be available) and Potions with Professor Snape’s supplies.
The day will also include:
- Wizard’s Chess: a life-size chess tournament
- The Marauder’s Map: check in with foursquare to open a door to the magical world
- Look-alike contests: the best likenesses will win prizes; judging will begin around 4:30 p.m.
- Tie-making: a hands-on project to decorate your own house ties
- Quidditch instruction: professional Quidditch players will walk you through how to play the game (available around noon on both Saturday and Sunday)
The whole weekend is free to the public. For more information, contact either Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism by calling 540-777-6327 or Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau by emailing Catherine Fox at email@example.com.