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Park City and the Goblet of Fire

Jared Whitley Of the Record staff
High school junior Cedric Calderon puts his best Harry Potter face forward on Thursday evening. Scott Sine/Park Record
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It was all about the witches and wizards on Thursday, as the Park City Education Foundation cast a spell on local Harry Potter fans to raise about $30,000.

Thursday evening the foundation showed "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," a day before anyone else could see it. All 740 tickets sold out to the event at Redstone tickets that cost $50 for parents and $35 for kids.

Cody Carlson, 11, said, "I had to go to it, no matter what, period."

Zac Mimlitz, 10, "I just really like magic and spells and stuff."

Preceding the film, volunteers and shops at Redstone held a Harry Potter-themed party, recreating a section of the mall as "Diagon Alley," where Harry Potter buys his wand, spell components, and other magical paraphernalia. Foundation member Carri Gibbs-Luse’s husband Tom, a producer with the show "Everwood," designed the scenery at Redwood.

Duelists from Park City Fencing Academy dressed up as dementors and fought with swords. Illusionists performed magic tricks. The Spotted Frog Bookstore became Flourish and Botts, where Harry and friends buy their school books. Kids could get their pictures taken with the school district’s very own giant, human resources director Tim McConnell, dressed up as Hagrid.

Many children came dressed in wizard or witch’s robes, some sporting red and yellow scarves, glasses, and even lightning-shaped scars on their foreheads.

If Jaron Ehlers could have any magic power, it would be invisibility "so I don’t get noticed by people."

David Hardy turned 11 on Nov. 1 but waited until Friday to celebrate his birthday, to coincide with the movie premiere.

"I like the magic in it and how cool it is. You never know what’s gonna happen next," Hardy said. Kids weren’t the only ones dressing up though.

"I think it appeals to all age groups," said Dolly Duke, 14. "It’s great for children, teens, and adults.

High school senior Alex Lair said, "I really want to see this movie. This was a good way to get into it."

Jonathan Allen, proprietor of J.W. Allen and Sons Toys said, "It’s a great thing for the town to be able to raise money for education. That’s one of the reasons we moved here."

Sponsors for the event included Prudential Utah Real Estate, Redstone 8 Cinemas, Zions Bank and Bill White Enterprises. The foundation has held similar events for all Harry Potter movies as per an arrangement with Warner Bros., allowing Park City to be the only non-profit benefit premiere in the United States for the popular movie series.

"I love the books and the movies and I go to every single premiere," said Josephine Karz, 12. Her favorite character is Ron.

"I think that the books tell more detail," said Caitlin Palmer, 14. "The movies are shorter so they leave things out, but they’re still really good."

Fans warmly accepted the new movie about Harry competing in a dangerous tournament against three other magic-users.

"I thought that it was really good," said Abby Schwab, 12. "It was surprising in some parts." "I thought it was good and it was different from the last one and Voldemort was weird-looking," said Olivia Rothman, 12.

"I was pretty excited about the Tri-Wizard Tournament," said Anika Gillwald, 11, with her hair permed to look like Hermione and speaking with a British accent. "It was full of action and adventure. You never really knew what was gonna happen.

"Well, if you’d read the books you kind of had an idea."


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