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Event Picks, July 2007

Oh, Harry. Pottermania revs up again this month as the seventh (and final) book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released at midnight on July 21. During the last book release, bookstores all over conjured celebrations big and small to mark the occasion. This time is no different. Don’t miss your last chance to dress up in robes and party like a wizard until midnight. (Note: Check with bookstores before showing up. Some stores won’t be selling the book on the night of the release, and others offer discounts on advance sales of the book.)

• Borders stores in Everett, Lynnwood, Seattle and Redmond host a Grand Hallows Ball beginning at 9:30 p.m. on July 20. Everyone is encouraged to come in costume — wizardly robes or formal attire based on the Yule Ball in Book 4. Activities will keep partygoers busy until midnight.  www.bordersstores.com

• University Bookstore sponsors Wizard Week the week before the book release, with events at its stores and musical performances by Potter tribute bands at locations around town (including a July 13 performance by Harry and the Potters, co-sponsored by ParentMap, at the Seattle Public Library’s Central Branch). Check the store’s Web site or our calendar for updates. www.ubookstore.com.

• University Bookstore’s U District location turns the entire store into Diagon Alley, with pumpkin juice and butterbeer in Honeydukes (aka the café). The bash kicks off at 6 p.m. on July 20 and treats Potter-philes to quidditch matches, an HP movie marathon, potion mixing and music by The Parselmouths and other Potter bands. Visit the store’s Web site for information on the Horcrux Passport, which kids can get stamped at bookstore Potter events the week before the release. 206-634-3400, www.ubookstore.com

• The Secret Garden Bookshop in Ballard entertains families waiting in line with games, treats and lots of noise at midnight. 206-789-5006, www.secretgardenbooks.com

• At Seattle’s All for Kids Books and Music, the Harry Potter release party at 11 p.m. on July 20 includes crafts and other fun. Buy the book from the store in advance for admission to the party. 206-526-2768, www.allforkidsbooks.com

• For those with early bedtimes, Queen Anne Books in Seattle throws a bash on July 21, starting at 8 a.m. Drop by the Hogwarts Commencement Celebration until 2 p.m. to pick up your book and do activities. Kids are encouraged
to come in their best wizardly attire. 206-283-5624, www.queenannebooks.com

• Ravenna Third Place’s party at 11:30 p.m. on July 20 includes activities and refreshments. 206-525-2347, www.ravennathirdplace.com

• Barnes & Noble in downtown Bellevue hosts a Harry Potter Midnight Magic Party at 8:30 p.m. on July 20, with a quidditch demo match, a presentation by a young fantasy author, costume contest and more. 425-451-8463.

• In Kirkland, Parkplace Books’ Potter Party begins at 9 p.m. on July 20 and includes gross food, performances, art activities and more to keep the waiting crowds busy. 425-828-6546.

• Island Books, in conjunction with Mercer Island Parks and Recreation and the Mercer Island Library, hosts a release party at the Mercer Island Community Center beginning at 10 p.m. on July 20. Wander Diagon Alley, do crafts, play games and enjoy a performance by The Parselmouths at 10:30 p.m. The bookstore is sponsoring a Harry Potter writing contest, with winners announced at the party. Find more information at www.mercerislandbooks.com or call 206-232-6920.

• At Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, join a Harry Potter movie marathon from noon-6 p.m., or drop by from 8 p.m. on for crafts, activities for small kids and a magic show (followed by the unveiling of the new book). The Seattle Knights will make an appearance for photo ops and a jousting demo. The party is free and open to the public. 206-366-3333, www.thirdplacebooks.com

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