I have always felt that collaboration is the key to a strong community, but now I know it is true.
Our first ever Wizarding Weekend gave me the opportunity to experience this firsthand and it felt incredible. On Thursday, there was a feast that was planned for months and executed wonderfully by the staff at Open Outcry. It was a fun, delicious, and perfect way to kick off the weekend. On Friday, I spent the day decorating around the community and checking in on many participating businesses. I finished the day with a packed crowd at HP Trivia night at Cork and Kerry. On Saturday, I was running between the Givins Beverly Castle, Morgan Park Academy, and almost everywhere in between, making sure everyone was ready to host hundreds of people. I was filled with nervous energy because Wizarding Weekend was really happening!
After months of planning, 30 neighborhood institutions and businesses were all working together to host a single community-wide event. It sounds corny, but it really was magical. There was so much to see and do, that I couldn’t get to it all. I was happy to see people at Beverly Bank visiting their wonderful vault, kids at the Castle making potions, people of all ages savoring Butter Beer lattes, Honey Freaks’ specialty candies, live magic, exotic creatures, and Quidditch too. I topped off Saturday at Barney Callaghan’s for some live music and an adult potion. Sunday, there was more to do! I enjoyed every detail that the staff at Horse Thief Hollow brought to life for Hog’s Head Hollow. The special menu, and the decorations made for the perfect ending to the weekend.
The best part of the festivities was seeing so many people visiting and taking pictures and consulting their maps. I kept asking people if they were from the neighborhood; many were not but they said they’d be back. I met one boy who flew in from West Virginia to be here.
The planning and stress were worth it when I think about all the people on the committee that I met for the first time or know a lot better because of this collaboration.
A huge thank you goes out to our sponsors, the 19th Ward, Kelly Burke, Bill Cunningham, Fran Hurley, Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, Beverly Arts Center, Morgan Park Academy, and all of the businesses that went all out! In addition, I want to thank Vicki Meyer, Elizabeth Akers, Madelyn Kenny, Terry Donley, David Gruba, and Molly Rooney, who all volunteered their time and energy to make things extra special!
My goal is to continue to collaborate and foster more relationships to bring out the best in our community! I hope you will join me.