MAGICon features vendors, entertainment, refreshments and, this year, some classes on wizarding, potions and fantastic beasts.
ADAMS, Mass. — A celebration of everything Harry Potter returns to the Greylock Glen this weekend with twice the magic.
Fans of the "Harry Potter" franchise will gather beneath the shadow of Mount Greylock, home of the Potterverse's Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to celebrate all things mystical at the Mischievous Appreciation of Greylock and Ilvermorny Convention.
"We wanted to offer the fans more than last year so we've really expanded the music, activities, and merchandise vendors," Raymond Gargan co-chair of MAGICon said. "These events help to foster a positive narrative about Adams as a place where interesting things are happening."
This is the second MAGICon, a ProAdams-sponsored event, to be held since "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling announced that the fictional North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was hidden on Mount Greylock, the state's tallest peak.
Gargan said instead of being a one-day celebration, this year the event will run through the weekend with Sunday being dedicated to magical education. "Introduction to Ilvermorny: A Concise Curriculum for the Magically Minded" will offer demonstrations on divination, herbology, potions, history and lore of Mount Greylock and magical creatures of the Greylock.
"Because magical education is such an integral part of the 'Harry Potter' books and movies, we thought fans might have some fun attending some sample classes that they might find at Ilvermorny," he said. "We reached out to some practitioners and experts on topics that fit the theme. Some of the classes will be lectures, some will be demonstrations and some practical training."
Gargan said he was personally excited about a demonstration by "Professor Clough" from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum who will be bringing some magical creatures from the area, such as owls and snakes.
Besides food vendors, artisans and craft beer there will also be entertainment and the original wizarding rock group Harry and The Potters will return with additional acts.
"Harry and The Potters had fun last year, so it was just a question of working out the details. Lauren Fairweather and Matt Maggiacomo from The Whomping Willows had heard about MAGICon last year and were happy to join us," he said. "Banish Misfortune is an awesome traditional music from Ireland that is based in the Northampton area. Although not a wizard rock act, their music very much fits the theme and our backcountry venue."
Gargan said there will be an improved costume contest this year and participants will be asked on stage to show off their magical garb. The winner will be awarded the Ilvermorny Cup for Excellent Attire.
He also urged people to explore the glen while they are at the event, especially the 1.7 mile Meadow Loop Trail.
"We hope that our audience will recognize that Greylock Glen itself provides a unique and hidden gem experience that really can't be replicated anywhere else in Northern Berkshire County, and definitely unlike any other fandom event," he said. "That's why we're also encouraging people to walk the gentle 1.7 mile-Meadow Loop trail that circles the central area of Greylock Glen. We will be installing some interesting magical information signs along the route."
Last year, more than 1,000 people attended the event and Gargan said he expects more this year.
"We directly market this event across New England, New York and into New Jersey and Pennsylvania," he said. "However, with social media the reach of the event is unlimited. Last year, I personally met people from Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma. Perhaps they were in the Berkshires for a vacation anyway."
Saturday's festivities kick off at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday's demonstrations start at 5 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased here or at the gate. Children 12 years and younger can attend for free. Attendees are urged to park downtown and use the free shuttles available throughout the day at 4 Hoosac St.
"We urge everyone, not just Potterheads, to come to MAGICon," Gargan said. "It is a great chance to share in two lively and family fun days that celebrates not only the magical world we know through J.K. Rowling, but the magic of the natural setting at foot of Mount Greylock in the welcoming community of Adams."
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New Adams Building Owner Restores, Returns Bar Sign to Family
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
The Girgentis get to see what the family bar looks now as Original Seed Cigar with new owner John Sheerin, right.
ADAMS, Mass. — Paying respect to what came before him, Original Seed Cigar and Lounge owner John Sheerin returned a renovated Rascal's sign to the Girgenti family.
"From Original Seed to you. This is your sign," Sheerin said at a small gathering with the Girgenti family at his lounge Friday. "It is going home to the right place."
Rascal's founder Alfio Girgenti had hung the sign at 32 North Summer St. more than three decades ago. The local contractor and carpenter died in 2005, but signed stayed up.
Sheerin purchased the dormant barroom building to convert it into a cigar lounge and humidor. After a substantial renovation, the building is now open.
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said with recruitment numbers dipping into the 20s and less availability among current members, the Alert Hose Company is trying to open its doors to a younger generation.
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