Frequently Asked Questions
IS THE FESTIVAL STILL ALLOWED TO HAPPEN?
YES! No matter what you have read or heard, Wizarding Weekend is happening. Spread the news – Share Our Event on FACEBOOK and tell all your friends to grab their costumes and come for a magical weekend.
WHEN IS THE FESTIVAL?
Wizarding Weekend is a three day weekend celebration of magic, science and fantasy – Friday October 26 3:30-6pm (pumpkin carving, trick or treat and classes only), Full Street Festival is on both Saturday October 27 10am-5pm and Sunday October 28 10am-4pm. For a full schedule of events CLICK HERE
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET INTO THE FESTIVAL?
ADMISSION IS FREE to the street festival. There are select booths (games, crafts and activities) that have fees that help us raising funds for charity each year as well as offset the festival cost. You can pay-as-you-go for these booths OR you can purchase a Magical Passport. There are also select events (City of Magic Ball, Spirited Spirits, Cocktails for Cosplayers, GALAtic, among others) that have ticket fees and proceeds benefit the festival. All special guests have fees for autographs, selfies and photo ops. Tickets and Passports are ON SALE NOW!
CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHAT IS A MAGICAL PASSPORT?
Wizarding Weekend 2018 Street Festival is a FREE ADMISSION event however there are a handful of activities that require payment to participate in. We offer a Magical Passport so that people can purchase all the payment required activities in advance and as a group. Passports are valid both Saturday and Sunday of the Festival. Passports are ON SALE NOW!
DO ALL MY KIDS NEED A MAGICAL PASSPORT?
Our magical passports are designed so that each person who wants to participate gets one of their own, including kids. The potions crawl portion is regulated by a cup system , we provide a special cup your your samples as part of the passport (and it changes color when used) so you should get one passport for each of the kids. You could get all apprentice level passports and then decide on the crafts/games as you go along based on what the kids want to do. Tickets for these will be available for purchase during the festival. All proceeds from funds raised offset the festival costs and support over 12 local nonprofits.
DO I NEED TO PURCHASE A MAGICAL PASSPORT IN ADVANCE?
If you want to use a credit card to purchase them, yes, you do need to purchase them in advance of the festival. If you want to pay cash, they will be available for purchase at the Festival Merchandise and Ticketing Booths. Passports are ON SALE NOW!
IF I DID NOT GET A MAGICAL PASSPORT ARE THERE STILL THINGS TO DO?
YES – the street festival has MANY OTHER ACTIVITIES, exhibits and booths beyond what is included in the Magical Passport. HOWEVER, you will not be able to participate in the Potions Crawl or Magical Artifact Hunt as those are exclusive to the Magical Passport.
DOES THE POTIONS CRAWL HAVE ALCOHOL?
The Potions Crawl is a self-guided, family friendly crawl to different local businesses who are offering exclusive samples of unique beverages and/or foods. As it is family friendly, no alcohol is served on the Potions Crawl. Passports are required and an exclusive cup is used to receive the samples. The following events have themed alcoholic drinks and require ID and a ticket for admittance: City of Magic Ball, Spirited Spirits, Cocktails for Cosplayers, and GALAtic. Tickets and Passports are ON SALE NOW!
WHERE IS THE FESTIVAL?
Using GPS – 171 East Martin Luther King Jr Street, Ithaca NY 14850
The festival footprint includes The Ithaca Commons, the 100 block of MLK Jr./State Street, the 100 blocks of Cayuga Street, Press Bay Alley and the Parking Lot directly behind it, DeWitt Mall and special surrounding businesses on Green Street, Seneca Street, the 200 block of Cayuga Street and the 200 block of Aurora Street. A full festival Map will be posted on our website and social media on October 22nd and will be available in the October 22nd issue of Tompkins Weekly – a free publication found throughout Tompkins County.
WHERE CAN I STAY?
The best resource for accommodations is VisitIthaca.com. AirBnB and VRBO also have locations in our area.
WHERE DO I PARK?
CLICK HERE for a full description of parking in downtown Ithaca. We STRONGLY encourage people who can use the public bus (TCAT) system to do so, especially if you are a student from Ithaca College or Cornell University. Carpooling is also highly recommended.
CAN I BRING MY DOG?
PLEASE NO DOGS OR PETS! Why? We have unique animals that are going to be on display at the festival that can be spooked by pets. Also, dogs are not permitted on the Ithaca Commons as per City of Ithaca municipal code. Moreover, this event can be very overwhelming for PETS (lots of people in costume, joyful children, etc) – we don’t want your pet to get stressed out. Even the nicest animals can lash out. Service animals are welcome.
I BOUGHT TICKETS – WHERE DO I PICK THEM UP?
ALL Passports are WILL CALL ONLY and Tickets for Special Events are Virtual with QR codes. Be sure to Download the GROWTIX APP to access all of your Passport and Ticket Purchases.
City of Magic Ball – If you pre-purchased admission, bring your QR code either printed or on your phone to the event itself, the Community School of Music and Art (CSMA, 3rd floor ballroom). You will need to show ID to consume alcohol at this event.
Spirited Spirits – If you pre-purchased admission, bring your QR code either printed or on your phone to the event itself, the Coltivare Ballroom. You will need to show ID to consume alcohol at this event.
Cocktails for Cosplayers – If you pre-purchased admission, bring your QR code either printed or on your phone to the event itself, the Hotel Ithaca Ballroom. You will need to show ID to consume alcohol at this event.
Magical Passports – can be picked up at the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center, 171 E State Street on the Commons (next to 15 Steps Gift Shop), Wednesday-Friday October 24-26 from 12-5pm. On Oct 27 and 28 all prepaid Passports will be available for pick up at the same location but lines can be long so we encourage all Passport holders to take advantage of the earlier pick up options. You will need to show ID and your QR code when you pick up.
I DON’T WANT THE FULL PASSPORT OFFERINGS, CAN I JUST PAY AS I GO?
YES and No – The Potions Crawl and Magical Artifact Hunt are exclusive to the Passport and cannot be purchased separately. Tickets to the Games and Crafts can be purchased separately at the Wizarding Weekend Merchandise Booths and Ticketing Booths on the festival days.
WE LOST OUR PASSPORT AND/OR PASS! CAN WE GET ANOTHER?
Not without paying a replacement fee of $10. Be sure to keep track of your Passport, Passes and Crawl Cups!
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY RAISED?
We have two goals with the funds we raise, first we cover the expenses of the festival. Second, we donate the proceeds to local and regional charitable organizations that participate in our event. CLICK HERE for the list of 2018 charitable organizations.
WHO RUNS THIS FESTIVAL?
A core group of volunteers is lead by Festival Director, Darlynne Overbaugh. Darlynne has been the driving force behind Wizarding Weekend since the idea was initially conceived by Gabe and Aiden Gayos in October 2015.
CAN I WEAR A COSTUME?
YES PLEASE DO! We encourage all types costumes for Wizarding Weekend because it makes the street festival that much more fun. HOWEVER we ask you leave all real and fake weaponry (wands are permitted) at home and keep in mind this is a family friendly event as you plan your costume. For a full overview of our general community rules CLICK HERE
WILL THE FESTIVAL HAPPEN IN THE RAIN?
YES! Our festival is a rain/snow/cold or shine event. We encourage everyone to be prepared for cooler weather and bring a magical umbrella to stay dry. The only way we ‘close’ the festival is if there is lightning or other unsafe weather conditions.
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT FOR THE CITY OF MAGIC BALL?
We recommend ages 16 and up. Kids 3 and under are free. Kids 4 and up require a ticket.
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT FOR SPIRITED SPIRITS?
21 and over only
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT FOR COCKTAILS AND COSPLAYERS?
21 and over only
WHO’S IN THE ARTIST ATRIUM AND WHEN?
The Artist Atrium (the common space of the Center Ithaca building), is where you will find Holly Marie Combs, Erica Cerra, Scarlett Byrne and JG Hertzler for autographs and selfies. You will also find authors Carrie Vaughn, Rose Catherine Khan, Lani Sarem and Lillian Oake here. The schedule may fluctuate based on our special guests arrival but generally speaking we will attempt to keep to the schedule posted in our Master Schedule on October 20th. You do not need a ticket to enter this space BUT you do need to CASH in order to purchase your autograph and/or selfie with our entertainment guests or a book to have signed by our literary guests. If you pre-purchased your autograph or selfie, you need the QR code that was emailed to you – which you can show us on your phone, through the GrowTix app or print out.
WHO HAS A PHOTO OP, PANEL AND/OR Q&A AT THE HOTEL ITHACA AND WHEN?
The Hotel Ithaca is hosting our panel and Q&A location as well as photo op area (provided by Indulge Images). Holly Marie Combs, Erica Cerra, Scarlett Byrne and JG Hertzler will each have their own Q&A session. Additional panels will be offered featuring authors Carrie Vaughn, Rose Catherine Khan, Lani Sarem and Lillian Oake here. The schedule may fluctuate but once it is announced on Oct 20, we will try to hold firm to it. The Q&A and panel sessions are free to attend but will fill up quickly – you may need to wait in line and you may be turned away when the room fills to fire capacity. If you want a photo op with any of our entertainment special guests, you must have CASH to purchase your photo op (which includes a printed 8×10 photo). If you pre-purchased your autograph or selfie, you need the QR code that was emailed to you – which you can show us on your phone, through the GrowTix app or print out.
WHAT IS FREE TO DO AT THE FESTIVAL?
Admission to the street festival on Saturday and Sunday is free. This includes all performances at the Cayuga Street Performance Circle and at the Bernie Milton Pavilion. Some performances such as the Human Chess are interactive and others are more presentational like the live musicians. In general, performances last approximately 30-45 minutes. Kids 12 and under can also enjoy free face painting and balloon animals courtesy of the festival. Attendees of all ages are encouraged to participate in the GorgeKeep Guardian Quest – a four stage quest that culminates in admission to the school and an augmented reality experience (attendees must have their own phone and are encouraged to bring their headphones for this experience).
CAN I PLAY QUIDDITCH?
Yes and no. You can participate in our skills practice sessions with the Ithaca Hex and Ithaca League of Women rollers. During actual matches, only members of the official teams are permitted to play. Limited bleacher seating is available for spectators of matches.
HOW CAN I MEET A SPECIAL GUEST?
To be guaranteed to meet a special guest (Holly Marie Combs, Erica Cerra, Scarlett Byrne or JG Hertzler) you MUST purchase a special guest experience. Those include autographs, selfies, professional photo ops or one of our meet and greet experiences. Pricing for these experiences vary based on the special guest. Attendees will not be permitted to walk up to their booths unless they have made a purchase. For a complete list of pricing, visit WizardingWeekend.com/specialguests. Full schedule will be announced October 20 and once announced every effort will be made to keep to that schedule as best as possible. Candid photography and videography will not be permitted during autograph, photo op, meet and greets, panel or Q&A sessions – this will be STRICTLY ENFORCED.