Muggle Madness!

For fans of J.K. Rowling’s insanely popular Harry Potter series, today is the calendar equivalent of the offspring of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 1999. Each tick of the clock will bring us ever closer to the release of the seventh and final (gasp!) installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. At 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 21, the consecrated pages will finally touch our grubby Muggle hands. And to ramp up the anticipation, bookstores nationwide are making their staff come to work in costume. (Bookstore employees just love any opportunity to play dressup and deal with impatient customers all day. They live for this stuff!)

The party starts at 9:00 tonight at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-442-4408, There will be potions classes, a character costume contest, Harry Potter Jeopardy, and South Florida’s only Tri-Wizard Competition. Don’t ask, just go. FYI: Books & Books is the only bookshop in town to offer free delivery anywhere in Miami-Dade if you prepurchase. What do you mean, you haven’t prepurchased yet? Gadzooks! Shindigs at area K-Mart stores begin at 10:00 p.m. and end at 1:00 a.m., when you can finally rest, knowing the fate of the boy wizard before your friends post spoilers online. There are participating locations in Kendall, North Miami Beach, and Hialeah. Visit for a complete list of South Florida spots. Forget the book. The latest movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, just hit theaters! Since it’s touted as the best in the series thus far, you know it’s worth the trek to the Blockbuster Imax Theater at the Museum of Discovery and Science (401 SW Second St., Ft. Lauderdale). The 3-D technology will give the film’s biggest 20 minutes a truly explosive quality. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for children. Call 954-463-IMAX (4629), or visit
Fri., July 20
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Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik