Prairie Lights, Barnes and Noble bring together a magical community

Harry Potter Countdown to Midnight

Barnes and Noble Coralville — Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m.

Harry Potter Midnight Release

Prairie Lights Bookstore — Sunday, July 31 at 12 a.m.

The latest tale in the Potter-verse hits the stands on July 31
The latest tale in the Potterverse hits the stands on July 31

There are few things that can bring a community together like a midnight release. The excitement is electric when fans come together, hyped up on caffeine and anticipation, to celebrate a common joy. They’re not as popular now as they were years ago, with movies shifting to mid-week premiers and online pre-orders of books and video games skyrocketing. Still, there’s one property certain to get not just adult fans, but families out in line late Saturday night into Sunday morning: Harry Potter.

Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City is celebrating the newest Potter release by opening its doors on Sunday, July 31 promptly at 12 a.m. for sales of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. According to their website, the store will be offering the highly anticipated book at 25 percent off.

For those interested in starting their celebrations a bit earlier, Barnes and Noble in the Coral Ridge Mall will be kicking things off at 8 p.m. with their Countdown to Midnight party. Sales will likewise start at 12 a.m. sharp, but the night will include games, activities and giveaways, along with a “Muggle Wall” for fans to share their memories.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two is a special rehearsal edition of the play that began previews on June 7 of this year and formally opens this Saturday, July 30, at the Palace Theatre in London. The script was written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, based on the story by J. K. Rowling. It’s set 19 years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The play sparked fervent conversation when it was announced that black actress Noma Dumezweni, born in Swaziland, would be playing Hermione.

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