Hogwarts comes to West Jordan
Two owls on display at the “Magical Creatures” booth at the Yule Ball. (Marina McTee/City Journals)
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Marina McTee | firstname.lastname@example.org
On Jan. 13, the Viridian Event Center hosted the fifth annual Harry Potter Yule Ball. This event gathers Harry Potter fans from all around the community to get a piece of the Harry Potter experience.
It all began with hundreds of fans gathered outside the Viridian, waiting in the January cold with their cloaks, wands, and even a fez or two. As the doors opened, everyone flooded inside to begin the festivities.
The event is open to any 12- to 19-year-old that wishes to come, but this is the first year that tickets have been required. The Yule Ball gained popularity quickly, and it soon started to become overcrowded. Even with the addition of tickets, the building was packed.
“Harry Potter has been such a huge part of my life; it’s amazing that there is a live event to come to now,” volunteer Lyssa Taylor said.
There was a large array of activities to partake in such as “wizarding trading cards” which participants could turn in when they collected a full set to become a house “Prefect” –or a student leader, fortune telling with divination Professor Trelawney, the “study of magical creatures,” which included a range of live owls and the traditional “sorting hat” to see which Hogwarts house the teens belonged to.
But it wouldn’t be a ball without dancing. There was a massive ballroom where everyone could dance together to songs such as the Cupid Shuffle and even the Electric Slide.
This year’s Yule Ball also had a nightlong competition between several groups for the Hogwarts House Cup. The competition included games such as the Moaning Myrtle Book Toss and house quizzes. All of these games awarded party-goers points that went toward their house, and towards the House Cup.
It was a close race, but this year it was the Ravenclaw house that was awarded the House Cup with more than 2,000 points.
The Harry Potter Yule Ball would not be a possibility, though, without its organizers, the Rocky Mountain Muggles. The Rocky Mountain Muggles, or RMM, is the local chapter of The Harry Potter Alliance, which is an organization that promotes youth activism around the world.
The Harry Potter Alliance has contributed to many causes. It has pledged to raise 1 million books and build 25 libraries around the world through its Friends of the Apparating Library program, and has raised $123,000 for relief efforts in Haiti. It has also created programs such as the Granger Leadership Academy, which helps youth, “develop [their] hero skills, and come together to a great global peril,” according to the academy’s website.
The mission statement of the RMM chapter is to “take an ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to civic engagement to educate and mobilize youth towards issues of literacy, equality, and human rights.”
The Rocky Mountain Muggles also host the Potter Run every year, which is a 5k race that donates all its proceeds to various organizations such as The Autism Council of Utah, The Children’s Justice Center and HopeKids Utah.
“I love how Harry Potter encourages literacy and courage,” Rocky Mountain Muggle member Christina Wilson. “Anyone that is any age and from any background can get lost in it.”
The Harry Potter Yule Ball is an event that brings together people from everywhere with a common love of the “Harry Potter” series to achieve just that.
The event is held every year in the West Jordan Library/Viridian Center with the purpose of bringing teens closer to their source of books.
The Rocky Mountain Muggles also host the Potter Run every year, which is a 5K race that donates all of its proceeds to various organizations such as The Autism Council of Utah, The Children’s Justice Center, and HopeKids Utah.
Rocky Mountain Muggle member Christina Wilson said, “I love how Harry Potter encourages literacy and courage. Anyone that is any age and from any background can get lost in it.”