Annual Harry Potter night delights in Foss

Last Thursday, Foss was busier than usual during dinnertime. Colby students and professors alike flocked down to the dining hall dressed as witches, wizards, and goblins. However, this wasn’t any ordinary Halloween celebration. This was Foss’s annual Harry Potter-themed dinner. Student Programming Board, Harry Potter Club, and the Dining Hall staff converted the space into Hogwarts’ Great Hall – the familiar backdrop where Harry, Hermione, and Ron enjoyed many meals.

The details of this event aligned closely with those of J.K. Rowling’s beloved series: the tables were set up in long rows with Hogwarts House flags hanging above them, and even the food had a special Hogwarts flair. The menu boasted offerings like Mandrake Salad, Hippogriff Droppings, Polyjuice Potion, and Butterbeer. Avid Harry Potter fan Olivia Stein, ’18, says, “Drinking butterbeer with my friends made me feel like I was in the Three Broomsticks [a popular hangout for Harry, Hermione, and Ron in the books]!” Students could also participate in a trivia competition throughout the night.

Courtesy of Claire Cahill

It was apparent that students  enjoyed this event, which originated eight years ago. Sydney Koeplin ’21 attended the dinner with her COOT family. She says, “I thought the atmosphere was really just fun. The details and food were really cute and everyone was having a good time geeking out.” Sydney’s roommate, Julia Pfau ’21 says, “It exceeded my expectations! I had no idea this event even went on at Colby, and I love that Colby always goes all out for their events.”

Alex Berardo and Emily Dolan, co-chairs of SPB’s Mainely/Social Committee, say that student organizers worked with Campus Life to order decorations, plan trivia, and devise a creative menu with Foss employees. This menu included a huge sheet cake complete with Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Slytherin logos. Berardo says he loves this event because “you don’t have to be a total expert on Harry Potter to have a good time. It’s something uniquely Colby, and through SPB, I’m able to help out to make it as fun as possible.” Dolan agrees, and she notes that the planning process was actually really fun, “At one meeting, we all just sat together brainstorming what different, fun and unique decorations we could order for the event and everyone always comes up with really creative ideas.” Dolan and Berardo’s SPB Committee is responsible for planning social events throughout the year as well as introducing students to all that Maine has to offer.

Olivia Silverman, president of Colby’s Harry Potter club, agrees that the event was a hit. She says, “I love it because I actually feel like I go to Hogwarts and it is amazing. The trivia is so fun and the atmosphere is incredible.” Harry Potter club, which Silverman started last year, meets frequently throughout the semester and kicks off with a sorting ceremony at the beginning of the year. Silverman said, “We watch movies, make wands, eat wizard food, it’s just a really fun place to meet people! It is open to fans and non-fans.”

What’s the best part about this event? Many students would agree that it’s great to be able to interact with professors in a casual, social setting. Berardo comments, “I love to see so many members of the Colby community – students, faculty, family members, you name it – turn out for the event.” Dolan says she loves how the event brings everyone together, and she notes, “Everyone ends up talking about Great Hall Night the rest of the year while impatiently waiting for the event to come the next October.”

Contact Olivia Silverman for more information about joining the Harry Potter club. And if you missed Great Hall night, be sure to stop by next year.