There was magic in the air Friday evening as downtown Plant City was visited by wizards and witches in honor of Harry Potter’s birthday.
The Last Friday in Downtown event was themed in honor of The Boy Who Lived and the majority of downtown business partnered with Plant City Main Street to create unique shopping opportunities for attendees. Nearly 30 businesses offered Harry Potter themed merchandise, food or experiences.
Adults, children and even some pets dressed up in honor of the annual event, which has become a beloved tradition in Plant City. The Last Friday in Downtown also featured a variety of food trucks as well as street vendors that had items ranging from fresh flowers to homemade Harry Potter themed crafts and desserts.
At the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum interactive exhibits were hung outside to let witches and wizards take photos as if they were Azkaban’s last escaped prisoner. Banners of the four houses of Hogwarts were proudly on display and many showed off their house pride by donning red, green, gold or blue apparel and posing under their corresponding flag.
While the event is held each year, downtown businesses upped the ante this year with their unique offerings. Tub Treats had a massive Harry Potter themed collection of soaps, “elixirs” and “potions.” Brick City Bricks had a massive special on its Harry Potter LEGOs. The arcade building’s lobby featured a joint decorative endeavor by the businesses within. Krazy Kup had a line wrapped outside the building as people flocked to try out Butterbeer. The Corner Store had magic potion elixirs and magical cupcakes.
Everywhere you turned were unique items specially curated for the event and after several years the word has spread that Plant City is the place to be each July. Some of the attendees came from St. Petersburg, Orlando and one family told the Observer they drove all the way from Titusville to take part in the special event.
Many of the participating businesses continued the celebration on Saturday, July 31 — which technically is the actual day of Harry Potter’s birthday according to the books — offering themed events and specials.
Each year the event continues to grow. Visit Plant City Main Street’s Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on all of the events the organization is bringing to downtown.