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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
<p>UF psychology senior Tiffany Dawson, 21, designs masks with Gus Laguna, 21, as part of a Harry Potter-themed activity in the Reitz Union Thursday.</p>

UF psychology senior Tiffany Dawson, 21, designs masks with Gus Laguna, 21, as part of a Harry Potter-themed activity in the Reitz Union Thursday.

Voldemort couldn’t stop the rock at Reitz Union Board Entertainment's third annual Harry Potter event, this year called “A Day in Diagon Alley.”

The event featured a wizard rock band, “Harry and the Potters,” that plays songs about the books while dressed up like the titular character.

The band played popular songs like “I am a Wizard,” “Wizard Chess” and “Save Ginny Weasley.”

The Reitz Union Grand Ballroom was transformed Thursday night to look like Diagon Alley, with stations representing popular shops like Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and the Leaky Cauldron.

There were craft stations scattered to build pygmy puffs out of pom-poms and masks shaped like owls, cats or mice. Excluding Harry and the Potters, the event cost about $8,000.

Christina Chang, a 23-year-old UF event management senior and co-director of special events for RUB, said that the ballroom was actually over capacity with attendees.

David O’Leary, a 21-year-old UF business administration senior and the other co-director, said there were about 800 people in the first half hour, and he expected to beat last year’s attendance of 1,200.

“Everyone loves it so far. People are having a good time,” he said. “Butterbeer is definitely the crowd favorite.”

Some students who attended even went so far as to dress up as their favorite characters.

Alexis Boenker, an 18-year-old UF sports management freshman, dressed as Luna Lovegood for the evening’s festivities.

“She’s so lighthearted and happy, it makes me happy,” she said.

Her friend, Rachel Swain, a 19-year-old UF health science freshman, dressed as Dobby.

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“You can go out any night, you can’t do this any night,” she said.

Boenker said she loved the “Harry Potter” series for more than just the plot.

“I think it teachers a lot of life lessons in disguise,” she said.

Other students also were there for their love of the deeper messages of the series, such as Tim Pigeon, an 18-year-old UF physics freshman.

“It’s just a fun story,” he said. “A 10-year-old boy becomes a superhero. It’s an inspiring story.”

UF psychology senior Tiffany Dawson, 21, designs masks with Gus Laguna, 21, as part of a Harry Potter-themed activity in the Reitz Union Thursday.

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