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From left, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Emma Watson as Hermione Grainger in the Warner Brothers picture, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." (SHNS file photo by Peter Mountain / Warner Brothers)

Muggles may have forgotten, but the wizards in our midst know that July 31 is Harry Potter's birthday. Count Kelly Flemings and Curtis Cecil among the wizards.

The co-founders of the Soddy-Daisy Community Library are planning a Magical Night of Literacy Festival and a Movie in the Park on Friday to celebrate the date.

Flemings says this is the second Harry Potter event they've hosted since the library opened in 2018.

"The first one was on a smaller scale that took place inside the library," he says. "We had so many people show up we were bursting at the seams."

(READ MORE: Vacation rental in Chickamauga, Georgia, offers chance to stay in Harry Potter's universe)

This time, to accommodate continuing interest in all things Harry Potter and the safety precautions necessary with the coronavirus, the event will be held outdoors at Veterans Park in south Soddy-Daisy.

If You Go

› What: Magical Night of Literacy and Movie in the Park

› When: Festival 7-9 p.m. Friday, July 31; movie at 9:15 p.m.

› Where: Veterans Park, 9000 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy

› Admission: Free

› Phone: 423-800-2367

"There's plenty of room to grow [the event] and spread out and play games," Flemings says. "We have a very strong strategy for keeping people safe and still allowing for there to be a lot of fun."

In addition to themed crafts and games, there will be a scavenger hunt and free books for youths 18 and younger. DJ Gene Lovin will provide the soundtrack. A costume contest — practically required for a Harry Potter event — will take place at 8 p.m.

Flemings says vendor and activity booths will be set up 16 feet apart, so there's room to approach without being crowded.

"We are requiring social distancing and masks," he says, adding that the Hamilton County Health Department has donated a case of masks, which will be passed out to anyone who doesn't have one. Tables will be covered in plastic and will be sanitized between uses.

Other participating organizations include Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians; Northside Neighborhood House; March of Dimes; the Soddy, Daisy and Montlake Historical Association; Kona Ice; Learning Rx; Solutions Printing; and the Soddy-Daisy Police Department.

Flemings says licensing restrictions prevent them from naming the movie to be shown, but it shouldn't take much magical thinking to figure it out. The plot centers on a young boy who discovers he's a wizard and begins his first year of wizarding school.

For more information, call 423-800-2367 or email founders@kelcurtfoundation.org.

Email Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

 

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