Mystic Magic : And Mischief


Grace Cavanaugh ~ Copy Editor

     This upcoming weekend in Staunton, VA, the Queen City Mischief and Magic (QCMM) festival is happening once again! As a fan of most things Harry Potter, this is by far one of my favorite events of the year.

      I have gone to the QCMM for the past two years. I cannot remember exactly how my family discovered it, but it has quickly become one of our traditions. The first year, it was just my aunt, my mom, and me. We met up with a friend of mine and their family and simply enjoyed all things Harry Potter as we wandered the streets of downtown Staunton.

      That first year, there were not a lot of things happening. It was not the first year of the QCMM, but it was not exactly the well-known event it is today. There were plenty of people dressed up, and all the shops had something or other Harry Potter themed to sell to the crowds.

      My friend and I went to a themed (and expensive) dinner, and failed to escape from an escape room, but other than that, there was not much to do.

      Last year, though, there was a significant increase in happenings. More people turned out than the year before, and the shops had all nearly doubled their Harry Potter merchandise. Again, I met up with my friend and we wandered about the town on Saturday.

      There was a Sorting for the children, who then received a press-on tattoo to represent their Hogwarts House. Lines for the various shops selling Butterbeer ran out the door and down the street. I bought a little pin of a sloth wearing a Ravenclaw scarf. We ate some delicious cupcakes.

      This year, the QCMM is Sept. 27-29. It is bound to be much bigger than before, especially with the release of Niantic’s Harry Potter augmented reality app, Wizards Unite.

      According to their website, “Experiment with potions. Enjoy delicious wizard fare and libations. Try your hand at wild beast-taming or wand dueling. Visitors are greeted by Norberta the Dragon, where selfies and costumes are encouraged. Unlock the secrets of Staunton’s bewitching historic downtown using our Mischief Map. Use Traipse, the free app, to explore our walkable downtown while solving puzzles designed to tickle every wizard’s brain… and maybe find a few treasures along the way.”

      For those unable to or intimidated by parking downtown, there are special bus stops around Staunton where you can park your car and take a school bus to the festivities.

      If you go, give me a wave of your wand, and have a great time! For more information, visit the QCMM website at

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