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‘Wizarding World Experience’ turns Bowling Green’s SoKY Marketplace into magical world of Harry Potter

Wizarding World Experience
Pippin-Pop Popcorn Shoppe
Wizarding World Experience

Bowling Green business Pippin-Pop Popcorn Shoppe is hosting an immersive Harry Potter-themed event at the end of January, giving visitors the sights, sounds, and even tastes of the fictional wizarding world.

The event will be held at SoKY Marketplace in Bowling Green, with proceeds to be donated to Avonlea Place for youth housing needs, along with Xclaim, Inc, a local theater that allows youth participants to gain new skills and create entertaining shows.

Proceeds will also benefit the BG Amplify Foundation, which gives disadvantaged youth opportunities to participate in local arts like music and theater.

Pippin-Pop Popcorn Shoppe owner Ashley Yawntold WKU Public Radio she’s excited to bring this type of unique experience to Bowling Green.

“I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd, and I thought, ‘What a great way to bring some more community events into Bowling Green by doing immersive experiences and making it a double-edged sword, not only bringing it into Bowling Green, but giving back to Bowling Green.'"

The Harry Potter Universe began in 1997 and was created by J. K. Rowling, who wrote a series of books that were later adapted into feature films. Several spin-off books and films have since expanded the franchise, attracting fans of all ages.

The Wizarding World Experience seeks to transport muggles, or those without magic, as they are known in the Harry Potter Universe, into a world of fantasy via wands, cauldrons, and trinkets.

“When the guests come in, they’re going to be taking a trip through Diagon Alley and be able to shop with local artisans and vendors who have created unique items. Then, they’re going to head upstairs through the Forbidden Forrest, and once they get to the top landing, they’re going to be dining in the Great Hall,” Yawn said.

She added that when the guests leave, they will exit through SoKY Marketplace’s Crop Shop, which has been transformed into Borgan and Burks, a magical antique shop featured in the Harry Potter films and books.

Those attending the experience will receive a letter in the mail regarding their acceptance to the event, just like how young wizards in the franchise receive their Hogwarts acceptance letter.

Once at the event, guests will be able to collect their robes, check off spaces on the Marauders Map, and even choose a wand, or rather, let the “wand choose the wizard.”

“We will actually be giving guests a complementary wand that they can try out and see if it actually turns things on and illuminates their path through Diagon Alley,” Yawn said.

The immersive experience heads to downtown Bowling Green Jan. 25–27.

More information about the event can be found online on the Pippin-Pop Popcorn Shoppe Facebook page.