July 03, 2007

Student Center to host Harry Potter release party

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- It's been a decade since J.K. Rowling brought to life the magic of Harry Potter and his cohorts, and now fans of the bestseller series are eagerly awaiting the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel at 12:01 a.m. July 21. The Student Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will host an action-packed premiere release party for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" starting at 9 p.m. July 20.

Details of Harry's last adventure are as closely guarded as top-secret classified government data. But while awaiting the chance to buy the new book, fans of the spectacled hero can enjoy a myriad of activities for all ages. The night includes a costume contest, games, trivia competition, and a free showing of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", the fourth in the Potter adventure fantasy series. You can have your fortune told, get a lightning bolt painted on your face, or make crafts, including free dragon and owl origami, or for a nominal charge, a wizard hat or magic wand under the direction of the Craft Shop.

And that's not all. While anticipating what Hermione, Ron, Kreacher, Hagrid, Harry, Voldemort and the rest of the "wizarding world" will be up to after the death of the beloved Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore, Potter celebrants can enjoy $1 per game bowling with $1 shoe rental as well as half-price billiards. McDonald's and Starbucks located in the Student Center will have food specials too.

At the bewitching midnight hour it will be time to open the first box of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" tales at the University Bookstore on the first floor of the Student Center. Quantities may be limited so to guarantee a copy and even get a 40 percent discount price, preorder at the Bookstore or by calling 618/536-3321.

All children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult at the Harry Potter book release celebration. Admission and parking are free. For more details, visit www.siucstudentcenter.org.