Queen City Mischief & Magic not happening in-person this year
Staunton's annual gathering of witches and warlocks that brings thousands of visitors to the Queen City for a celebration of all things "Harry Potter" will not be happening this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizers of the Queen City Mischief and Magic festival announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday that they will be unable to host the festival in-person in 2020 "to ensure public safety and promote responsibility."
Each year since 2016, when the event began, it's drawn thousands or tens of thousands of people as the historic downtown area of the Queen City is transformed into the magical world of Hogsmeade, with cooperation from dozens of local businesses joining in.
But the planning committee determined that it would not be safe to hold an event with such large crowds in September, when it was scheduled for 2020.
They say they're working on developing virtual experiences to allow people to join together at a distance as they plan for an even bigger and better 2021 festival.
"We leave you with gratitude, reassurance that we will be back, and our favorite quote from the Harry Potter series: 'Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.' We will make sure the lights of Staunton continue glowing," the organizers said in their statement.
The city of Staunton has canceled its 'Happy Birthday America' celebration in July, and city-owned pools will not reopen this summer. This marks the first cancellation of a major fall event.
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