Fans of fantasy lore from "Harry Potter" to "Lord of the Rings" to "The Wizard of Oz" will come together June 15 and 16 for Wizard Weekend in Savannah.
Kicking off the festivities of the adults-only weekend will be a Wizard Prom on Friday at Savannah Station. The fun continues Saturday with Potterhead Wizard Trivia at Savannah Taphouse, followed later in the day by the Wizard Pub Crawl, which flies through 12 downtown locations.
Mark Baggett, owner of Markster Con, said Wizard Weekend started in Atlanta in 2014 with a Potter Pub Crawl and Wizard's Ball after. Baggett said people travel from all over the U.S. to attend Atlanta's Wizard Weekend. He said the event draws a fun, friendly and creative wizarding crowd, and decided to expand the event to Savannah.
The Wizard Prom offers a chance to redo your prom experience, said Baggett. Radio Cult from Atlanta will be playing, with a DJ spinning tunes after their show. The prom will feature dancing, music and food from Delightful Catering. They are also hosting a wizard and witch costume contest, followed by a crownng of the Wizard King and Witch Queen.
Baggett encourages attendees to wear their favorite house robes and ties, dress as their favorite wizard, or wear formal attire of their favorite house colors. Tickets for the prom are only sold online in advance at xorbia.com.
Potterhead Wizard Trivia is free to enter and offers prizes of Savannah Taphouse gift cards and pub crawl tickets, with a grand prize of two tickets to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. Sign-up starts at noon and trivia is at 1 p.m., leaving enough time to get to The Rail Pub for the start of the Wizard Pub Crawl.
The crawl will also go through Rogue Water, Ghost Coast Distillery, Stafford's Public House, Warehouse Bar & Grille, Bay Street Blues, PS Tavern, Barrelhouse South, Pour Larry's, the Bar Bar, and The Tree House. Savannah Smiles is the final stop and includes the Graduation Gathering.
Each bar will have themed drink specials and happy hour pricing for those with pub crawl badges. Several of the bars will participate in a Best Butter Beer Contest, and look for drink specials including Unicorn's Blood, Death Eater and the Shot Which Shall Not Be Named, among others. One of the stops will also features live music from electric violinist Alex Ahn.
Baggett started event planning in 2008 by throwing private geek-themed parties during Dragon Con in Atlanta. He said he and his fiancèe enjoy visiting Savannah when they want to get away.
His love for dressing up and hosting events came from a childhood filled with homemade costumes and fun birthday parties. Attendees for all the weekend's events are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters.
"My Mom used to make my Halloween costumes each year, that’s back in the mid-1970s," he said. "Which probably helps explain my love of costuming in its current form as well as my profession."