Potter about town to learn some local history

Your kids better know their Hippogriffs from their Herbology if they’re going to participate in fun-filled summer celebration of Harry Potter in a West Cork town.

The town of Bandon has a very special link with the smash-hit JK Rowling series.

It’s the birthplace of the entirely fictional Bandon Banshee mentioned by Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The town is planning to celebrate its links with the series with a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt on Sunday morning, June 24.

It is very much a school’s out celebration in the town of both Bandon’s history and the Harry Potter series, explains organiser Marguerite McQuaid.

As part of the scavenger hunt, children will use special maps to follow clues taken from both Harry Potter and the history of Bandon town.

So participants will need to know their basilisks from their beaters, not to mention local history from their own neighbourhood.

Down the road, Ms McQuaid hopes, the town will erect a sculpture to the Bandon Banshee.

For the time being, she is content to raise awareness among children of the joy and excitement that comes from reading Harry Potter.

Eventually we would like to get a piece of public art erected to the Bandon Banshee but that’s a long-term project,” said Ms McQuaid.

“In the meantime, we are trying to create a ground-swell of support for this objective by creating awareness through the children.

“Right now this is very much about a bit of summer fun — and a celebration that school’s out for Bandon, as we have lots of children in the area,” she said.

“Next Halloween, the town will be aiming to create a world record for the most Harry Potters in one place.”

Parents are asked to bring children to the Maid of Erin statue at 10.30am on Sunday for the scavenger hunt. Register interest and the number of children attending by texting ‘banshee’ to 087 9009494.

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