Parent volunteers from Bayview Elementary school have made a spectacular Harry Potter display for fundraising efforts for the school.
It’s gotten so big they’ve moved it to a local unused mall to open it to the public. Already it’s attracting people from across the Maritimes.
Christina Wentzell along with two other mothers, spent the last two and a half years collecting pieces and assembling furniture out of cardboard. The families had only met right before the pandemic but got to know each other so well during countless hours spent together, Wentzell says, they are now “lifelong friends.”
“We bubbled together when we had to bubble and we’ve become really close.” she says.
The Harry Potter display opened it’s doors on Wednesday, and has since seen over 1,500 visitors. Wentzell anticipates a much higher number during the weekend.
Seniors and children alike have walked through the display, many dressed as their favorite characters.
“Everybody is thrilled to be here and they feel carried away by the stories.” says Wentzell.
“An older gentleman came in the other day by himself with his walker, and he was so excited to be here.”
A 14-year-old resident, Kyrie Thompson, was blown away by the “3D look” of the display.
“I feel like I’m in a real Harry Potter movie. Like in the real moment.” she said.
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Her mother was also very impressed.
“It’s amazing! I didn’t know there was going to be this much detail.” says Jinette Thompson.
Diehard Harry Potter fan, Trevor Carson, and his family drove all the way from Sussex, New Brunswick to get a glimpse of the wizarding world.
“As soon as we heard about it, we said, ‘we’re going!'”
“There is a Harry Potter movie played at my house at least once a day.” he says
He recalls watching the films with his wife before their son was born. Now their son, 19-year-old Sebastien, is also a diehard. Dressed as Harry Potter and in amazement, Sebastien, is beyond excited as he walks through the magical scenes from the movies.
“It’s lasted through so many generations and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.” says Carson.
The funds raised will go directly toward school field trips and guest speakers and other events for the children.
Wentzell says the success of the fundraiser and seeing it come into fruition has been emotional and overwhelming.
“This sort of energy and enthusiasm and excitement it just after two years of a pandemic it brings a lot of energy to our school, our kids and us.”
The principal of Bayview Elementary School, Lamar Eason says he is grateful for the parent group who have made this happen.
“Words can’t express the gratitude for them and I don’t even think students will understand the effort and time that has been committed.” says Eason.
Due to the success, the event will continue for the next three Saturdays. The cost for admission is $5 per person or $20 per family.