The birth of this event started with a regular nerdling reaching out to her group of friends and acquaintances that wanted to throw a cool party for our town (for adults and kiddos alike) where 'cool' meant nerding out about one of our favorite things in the universe - Harry Potter. There's only 6 of us on the core planning team (though we have had close to 50 people sign up to be volunteers to help make this happen! Wow -- THANK YOU!) - we're composed of teachers, parents, accountants, techies, nonprofit-ers, artists, just ordinary people with slightly fantastical dreaming wanting to believe there's magic in the world around us. We decided that we wanted to try to do this out of our own pockets and if it went well, maybe next year we'd have time to look for outside help. We're not wealthy benefactors, but we had big dreams about bringing the community together and supporting a local nonprofit in the process. We don't see this as a job (we have full time jobs outside of this, although it'd be pretty cool being a professional event wizard) and we're not looking to make money from it -- our goal is to provide this simply because we think Fayetteville is the perfect home for it.
We initially thought it would be a small event - we thought "Hey, it'd be cool if we had about 200 people show up." We haven't boosted posts, we haven't really done much marketing at all, because interest has gathered faster than we could say 'Expelliarmus!'. We had no idea. NOW it's like someone cast geminio - the event on Facebook currently has over close to 600 saying they would like to come and close to 5,000 interested! That is more than we ever anticipated!
Since we've had such an overwhelming response, we are realizing our venue will be smaller than the amount of people we can allow in that would like to participate (duly noted for next time!) and will be limited in how many tickets we can offer for sale while still keeping everyone comfortable space wise in the venue with everything going on.
We want to let you know what the admission pays for so you'll know what to your expectations should be for our day of fun!
Tickets will be $12 for general admission, $9 for kids ages 5 - 12, and kids under 4 will be free. Note: Brown Paper Tickets does charge a service fee of 99 cents plus 3.5% of the ticket price which comes out to about $1.50 for a general ticket), but tax is already included in the $12 price.
What your ticket to DiaCON Alley of the Ozarks will include:
- Entry to the town center for the entirety of the event (you can come and go). We do hope you'll come enjoy the event in costume but it's not required.
- Photo opportunities with props, backdrops, and costumed characters all throughout.
- First 100 people to enter will receive a tote with a few little goodies.
- Access to shop amongst the 37 vendors included in our own version of a wizarding shopping alley. Examples of the types of vendors: 6 themed sweets and drink vendors (yes to butterbeer and pumpkin juice!), some wizardy inspired artisans (jewelry, bath products, wands, plushies, knit goods, art, and more!), some merchants with HP items, a professor of divination (I bet she knows Professor Trelawny!), face painting vendor, fake tattoo vendor (get your dark mark!), and a professional photo booth.
- Free entry into a costume contest (if you choose to sign up and participate!) and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans challenge, maybe even a wizarding SPELLing bee.
- Access to "The Common Room" - tables will be set up for a game area where we will have some themed table top games available to play.
- Activities such as a sorting hat area (where you will be sorted and get your own house bracelet), an event wide magical scavenger hunt, table top quidditch, and more.
- Our "Room of Requirement" - panels happening every hour or so- we will have Raptor Rehab here (owls!), the U of A Quidditch Team, the Mad Scientist (wizard?) Potions Science Show, Harry Potter Trivia, Advanced Potions Class (21+ only please!), and a few more we're nailing down as well as things on stage such as our two Costume Contests. Schedule will be released a couple weeks before the event.
- House Point Raffles throughout the day - vendors and volunteers will be handing out "house points" based on what house you're in! You will return any won points to the house point area that will enter you in raffles for awesome items donated to us by our vendors as well as a few additional items we will have (more about prizes later!). The house that wins the 'house cup' at the end of the day will enter them into a raffle to win something special!
Your ticket is also going to do good on top of all of the above things you will experience-- A large percentage of the profits from this event will go to the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter (they will have representatives there as well, doing their own activity). If this event goes well, as we think and hope it will, anything left over will be contributed toward making next time even bigger and better.
Thank you for hanging in there with us, thank you for your support. We're looking forward to sharing this day with you and hope that you'll have a wonderful time if you're able to come. We're working our hardest and know what we see in the Mirror of Erised :)
- DiaCON Alley of the Ozarks Head House Elves
“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince