Our little village was the site of a huge Harry Potter Release Party on Friday. The entire town was packed with Harry Potter fans and there were activities for families scheduled the entire day. Above, a woman offers divination lessons in the park.

A view from the crowds gathered around our Divination Professor (at least, that’s my best guess).
Scofield Park was turned into Hogsmeade Village for the day. There was live music and vendors throughout the park.

Many families came dressed in costumes!

A view of the park/Hogsmeade Village.
Lots of gals dressed as Hogwarts schoolgirls and the fansite Mugglenet.com celebrated the book’s big day in Oak Park.

This being Oak Park, there were war protesters. The churches here are notoriously liberal!

One of the churches transformed into Azkaban–the frightening prison where dementors can steal the hope from your soul and drive you mad!

One of many Harry Potters we spotted about town! He was adorable.

Grace Church was set up to be like Hogwarts Great Hall.

Mysterious Floating Candles illuminated the grand space.

And at the altar?

Children were being sorted into one of the four Hogwart’s houses–most of the children picked Slytherin while I was there (generally considered the “dark side” by most kids).

A view of the line of kids waiting to be “sorted”!

Click on the picture above to spot me in the line at 11:30 p.m. to get my book.

This is the line that wrapped around the other side of Barbara’s Book store. These folks didn’t reserve their copy!

Another view of the line for those who reserved.

There are four bookstores in Oak Park within a few blocks of each other; each had a line longer than the last. This is the discount bookseller The Book Table. It went on for half a block.

Another view of my line.

The line at Borders was the longest of all!

It was a madhouse!

Some witches waiting on the book at Borders.

Crowd outside Borders. I’m guessing they were waiting on their kids/family inside? The streets were lit up with people; it was really crazy!

And I got my copy at Barbara’s (a block from home). I was reading in bed by 12:28! I finished the book today and I really enjoyed it! What a great series for all ages!