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MISTI-Con 2015 conference report

Report on MISTI-Con Conference, New Hampshire, May 2015. By Harry Potter Fan Zone reporter Toni Gras

Harry Potter themed statue at MISTI-Con 2015

Harry Potter themed statue at MISTI-Con 2015

MISTI-Con 2015 was an awesomely magical event that took place May 21-25, 2015 at the Margate Resort in the beautiful lakes region of Laconia, NH. The Margate was sold out within weeks of the announcement of MISTI-Con 2015 in August 2014, which gives tremendous credibility of this fantastical bi-annual Harry Potter conference. MISTI-Con was organized by The Group That Shall Not Be Named (HP-NYC).

I have been to ‘Potter’ conferences all over the U.S. by various organizations over the last 10 years and MISTI-Con was impressive by the dedication of its loyal staff who saw to every minute detail of the 5-day event from the programming, events, talks, concerts, hotel menu items, and down to the immense amount of decorations that permeated the hallways, lobbies and conference rooms at the two locations at the Margate (main hotel and secondary building). To welcome us as we entered was a large statue with characters from the Potter movies intertwined together as one entity.

Opening ceremonies offered skilled Japanese drumming and a magician with a few tricks up his sleeve as well as introductions of the MISTI-Con staff and brief in-seat introductions of guest speakers; the ceremonies closed with a bang when fireworks filled the lake skies of the Margate.

David and Toni with Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley)

David and Toni with Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley)

Guest speakers during the course of the conference included the visual engineers of Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, actor Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley), and the esteemed Dean of Harry Potter Scholars, John Granger.

Several discussion groups, as well as lectures were offered — Harry Potter Fan Zone’s fellow reporter, David Gras, presented two round-table discussions and other talks offered attendees deeper journeys into the world of Harry Potter including Dr. Patrick McCauley from Chestnut Hill College, PA who is releasing a book entitled Into the Pensieve: The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter.

Some classes offered Harry Potter dance lessons and art classes. The Bewitching Bazaar showcased vendors offering various magical items such as Potter tea, Potter-style witches hats, jewelry, as well as fan fic books. The Wizarding World’s Fair offered various feats of magical-ness — alas the hot air balloons rides were cancelled due to high winds. Wizard Wrock and ghost stories down on the beach entertained the night-time crowd.

Kudos to the organizers of this well-planned and articulated event with special thanks to Clay Dockery, Treasurer and Co-Head Organizer. This reporter, as one of hundreds, looks forward to the next MISTI-Con!

John Granger, Dr. Patrick McCauley and David Gras

John Granger, Dr. Patrick McCauley and David Gras