Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night at Hogwarts? Well, it was a dream come true for more than 200 “stuffies” that attended Goleta Valley Library’s Stuffed Animal Sleepover: Harry Potter edition on Oct. 28.
The library staff was well-prepared for a great turnout and were thrilled to see 219 stuffed animals dropped off this year for a magic-filled all-nighter set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
“We were so thrilled to be able to host this event again,” said Linda Hori, library assistant at Goleta Valley Library. “Before the event officially started, the line was already out the door with families and children eager to drop off their stuffies at Platform 9¾.”
While in line, many participants entered the Guess the Pumpkin’s Weight contest for a chance to win Harry Potter memorabilia.
The sleepover was anything but restful as stuffed-animal friends were whisked away on a variety of magical adventures and shenanigans. All stuffies started their journey with the Sorting Hat to join their official Hogwarts House.
With scarves in hand, they loaded their suitcases onto the Hogwarts Express, had dinner in the Great Hall, played a round of Quidditch, and even snuck into the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library.
A small group of stuffies arrived late but were able to take Mr. Weasley’s flying car through the Forbidden Forest to make it just in time for the celebration. While all the stuffed animal guests were well-behaved, there were a couple of House Slytherin stuffies that managed to achieve a bit of light-hearted mischief through the night.
The two-day wizarding event culminated on Saturday with a special Harry Potter celebration. Guests were able to take pictures with Dumbledore and Hedwig, find out their House with the Sorting Hat, become the face of Azkaban’s “Most Wanted,” and take home a collection of photographs from their stuffed animals’ visit to Hogwarts.
Every visitor got to enjoy one final surprise: a personalized acceptance letter from Hogwarts. Their letters included a goodie bag with a wand, glasses, and of course, a bookmark.
As a great wizard once said, “When in doubt, go to the library.”
The library thanks the participating families, the library staff who made the magical event so memorable, and the 23 adult and teen volunteers.
For more about what’s on tap at the Goleta Valley Library, visit www.GoletaValleyLibrary.org to check out the Events Calendar.