A Night At Hogsmeade Inn

A Night At Hogsmeade Inn

As a Portlandian I participate in various geeky events and organizations. One of those organizations is the Time Traveler's Costume Guild, a member of the International Costume Guild. My mother helped start this local group, and this January, we were able to host our first big event, a Harry Potter themed dinner. My write-up for the event was featured in ICG's May/June 2016 Newsletter, but you can also read the full write-up below.

Time Traveler’s Costume Guild is a branch of the International Costumers’ Guild in the Portland, OR metro area. Yes, that mystical place known for doughnuts in the shape of voodoo dolls, putting birds on things, and keeping it weird! Portland is also a hugely diverse community of nerds, geeks, fans, costumers and cosplayers. Which is just one of the reasons why Portland is such an awesome place to live.

TTCG’s membership reflects that great diversity, in skill level, experience, fandoms, and more. Our membership attends conventions, period encampment events (such as Civil War and SCA events), theme parties and more! We also have many members that run panels, programming tracks, teach classes, vend at events, etc. Because of this, our group is hands-on focused. Anyone can suggest an event, teach a workshop, or collaborate with other members on projects.

Since officially forming in May of 2015, TTCG members have attended conventions, hosted workshop days and held ‘fabric destashes’. A Night at Hogsmeade Inn was the first big production put on by the group. Lorien Fletcher, President of the group has been using Harry Potter for costume inspiration since the books came to the US in the late 1990’s. And since the fandom was fairly popular with the group as a whole, it was decided that something Harry Potter oriented would be a great first event. Another big deciding factor was the use of Tabor Space, an old gothic inspired church in SE Portland that hosts a coffee shop and has spaces for rent. The room we used has also been featured in an episode of Portlandia and has a great overall feel, and looks like an old English style pub or inn.

Members were encouraged to volunteer to help in various ways, such as being a table host, ie bringing decorations for one of the themed tables, managing food, we ran it potluck style where you were given a ticket discount for bringing a side dish, or set up/tear down. Everyone was encouraged to dress up, either in costume as a witch, wizard or otherwise, or as a student decked out in Hogwarts gear, or a uniform. One of the most important things that we stress in our group is that no one is excluded just because they don’t know how to sew. Many of our members run panels or workshops on budget or thrift shop costuming, and we host an event every year called ‘Goodwill Hunting’ which is a huge thrift shop crawl.

Originally this event started out as a gaming and dessert meetup. But over the planning sessions, it evolved into a full dinner with entertainment. During the planning stages for this event we were extremely conservative in our expectations. As a first year event in such a busy community, we figured that we’d be doing ticket sales at the door. However the event was sold out by the end of December and we ended up adding another table to accommodate more people. The event hosted 80 people, including the 20+ volunteers.

In addition to themed tables and costumes we had members perform, had a Platform 9 ¾ photo booth and door prizes. We started off the night with our secretary’s daughters singing the Hogswarts school song, and the Sorting Hat song. Member and vendor Kim, owner of Portland Black Lipstick, gave a demonstration of her ‘Sleekeasy’ hair potion. Of course we had a magic show, as well as a member who performed celtic songs, and we paid tribute to the late Alan Rickman.

From set up to tear down, the event was just five hours and went off without any major problems. Which is itself entirely due to our membership. Reviews were rave, good food was had and we ran out of butter beer! Members and non-members alike are looking forward to continuing the event in years to follow. And with a new movie on the way, I believe interest will be even higher. In the meantime, we’re excited to be planning our next events, sewing like mad, and going to local cons!

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Originally published on 7/31/2016 at conventioning.wordpress.com

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