Advertisement

A Spellbinding Soiree: wizardry comes home to Fayetteville

Bookmark this
12 March, 2019 By Jocelyn Murphy

Witches and wizards, Potterheads and Tolkienists, even elves, dwarfs and Muggles -- no matter what fandom you belong to or the fantasy creature with which you most identify, all are welcome at this year's Wizard Way of the Ozarks Convention. Last year's DiaCON Alley of the Ozarks was the region's first (unofficial) Harry Potter convention and was such a huge success, it sold out weeks in advance. For the second year, organizers hope a name change, venue expansion and growth to two days will feel more inclusive to all fantasy fans.

"The most exciting part is you come, you see everyone in their costumes, and then you feel immediately like you're friends with everyone," festival co-founder Staci Bell shares. "It's such a weird, bizarre, surreal thing because there's so many people in the same area that have all have the same interests as you do.

"So that's what I'm most excited about is meeting new people, seeing families with their kids, bringing them up in all of these nerdy things that we're so excited about, that we love so much, and seeing them experience it for the first time is a really awesome thing."

The festival is, of course, family friendly, but some new additions give adults more activities geared just to them in the festival's second year. However, Bell assures, everybody is welcome to attend on either day and there are plenty of activities for every age group.

A Pub Crawl down Dickson Street will take place March 23 after the convention closes for the day; an "Advanced Potions" for wizards 21 and older will be taught by a mixologist that day; and a parenting panel, "Around the Weasleys' Table" will be led by editor, mom and co-host of the podcast "Raising Hermione," Brannan Sirratt to offer bookworm parents some perspectives on raising their own little generation of fiction lovers.

The expanded panel offerings are another area where the festival has grown, with panels this year tackling topics like history, creative writing, mental health and the age-old book versus movie debate, among others. Highlights among the entertainment everyone will enjoy are the new escape room "Escape from Magus Carcerum," a scavenger hunt to win house points, the Every Flavor Beans Challenge, wand dueling, Owls of Raptor Rehab and Potions with Super Steve of Super Science Northwest Arkansas. March 23 and 24 are going to be packed!

"Basic chemistry looks sort of spooky, and that kind of goes right along with what people would like to see at a Wizard's Way convention," Steve Cox -- Super Steve -- shares. "So that's why I think it trips their trigger is seeing all this stuff; it looks mystical to them. And then you learn the science behind it and go, 'Wow, that's practical knowledge.' I'm not a magician, I'm just doing science experiments that almost look magical, you know?"

With some 20 years' experience in "edutainment," Cox knows how to delight and mesmerize his audiences with dry ice, "snow," electricity and Bernoulli's principle.

"My main stage show is just all these 'Ooh, ahh' science experiments that you might have seen Bill Nye do or some of these showbiz science guys -- like the Blue Man Group is actually a musician/science group that has things like I do," Cox reveals. "I'm a science guy.

"If people are interested in something that's a little bit out of the ordinary, that's what I imagine the Wizard Way of the Ozarks is going to be, just by the name of it. There's going to be some exotic characters there. And then in my show, I do some things that you can say are quite exotic also, so you've got exotic flair all over the place there at the Town Center."

"Getting that many people together, especially being able to have fun with each other and then make a big donation to a nonprofit that really gets overlooked and really deserves it, is probably the biggest thing that I'm excited for," Bell concludes. "That and the owls -- because I love owls."


Wizard Way of the Ozarks 2019 Convention

WHEN — March 23-24
WHERE — Fayetteville Town Center and Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville
COST — $16-$30; pub crawl separate $15 ticket
INFO — wizardwayoftheozarks.com or email wizardwayozarks@gmail.com


Advertisement

Recent Articles

Arkansas firm buys Branson duck boats

Arkansas firm buys Branson duck boats

in Community News

The scion of a local family that has operated duck boats in Hot Springs since 1992 has acquired boats bearing the logo of the Branson, Mo., operator involved in last summer's fatal duck boat sinking.

May 6, 2019 By David Showers

Chalk joins mediums of choice in Eureka Springs

Chalk joins mediums of choice in Eureka Springs

in Community News

Sandy Royce Martin, chairwoman of the Eureka Springs Arts Council, says that adding the Chalk Art Festival -- running May 15-18 this year -- to the venerated May Festival of the Arts lineup was a matter of popular demand.

May 6, 2019 By Lara Hightower

Family-owned and neighborly: Acapulco is Springdale's authentic Mexican restaurant

Family-owned and neighborly: Acapulco is Springdale's authentic Mexican restaurant

in Food & Drink News

The restaurant has been open for over a decade on East Robinson Avenue in Springdale, and Ruben Almazan has kept it a family business, with his wife and their two sets of twins all pitching in to keep it running smoothly.

April 30, 2019 By Best of Northwest Arkansas

May Festival of the Arts blends new with tried and true

May Festival of the Arts blends new with tried and true

in Community News, Event News

May Festival of the Arts is a tradition among locals, regionals and repeat visitors. Over the past several years, it has also become an international attraction for Eureka Springs.

April 29, 2019 By Becca Martin-Brown

Must Read Articles

Hearing Aids are Happiness Boosters

Hearing Aids are Happiness Boosters

in Sponsored Content, Best of NWA

An easy first step to boosting your happiness in life may be to make an appointment with your local audiologist.

December 3, 2018 By Best of Northwest Arkansas

Rogers Historical Museum pulls out of the station

Rogers Historical Museum pulls out of the station

in Community News

The story goes beyond just finding a bigger and better location for the Rogers Historical Museum.

December 28, 2018 By Becca Martin-Brown

On the menu: trends in dining out

On the menu: trends in dining out

in Food & Drink News

With all the fantastic restaurants to choose from in Northwest Arkansas, it's no wonder folks are dining out more than ever before.

March 27, 2019 By Best of Northwest Arkansas