The adventures of Harry Potter and his fellow wizards are no longer confined to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — the broomsticks have landed right here at Ohio State.
“Harry Potter and the Haunted Halloween at Rec Sports” is the theme of this year’s Halloween event organized by the Office of Student Life’s Recreational Sports. The magical activities are scheduled to take place Thursday at the RPAC and other various Rec Sports facilities, which include Jesse Owens North, Jesse Owens South and the Adventure Recreation Center.
Katie Thomas, interactive marketing coordinator of the Department of Recreational Sports, said this isn’t the first year Rec Sports has done something special for Halloween.
“For the past three years, the Office of Student Life’s Recreational Sports has held a Halloween event (showcasing) the broad array of services and programs Rec Sports offers,” Thomas said in an email. “Our Harry Potter-themed classes have seen much anticipation, so we decided to draw on that to create this year’s Halloween theme.”
The RPAC held a Harry Potter-themed cycling class during Spring Semester 2013.
The Halloween event is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 a.m. with the “Flight of Hippogriff Indoor Cycle,” a cycling class where participants will receive chocolate frogs, according to the Rec Sports website.
Participants will need to check the Recreational Sports’ Twitter account, @OSURec, to receive clues about the second event, “Find the Snitch at Rec Sports.” A golden snitch will be hidden at one of the Rec Sports facilities and the person who finds the snitch will receive the complete Harry Potter DVD collection.
The “Hogwarts Dance Party ZUMBA” is set to be a Zumba class where wizard attire is “welcome, but not required,” according to the Rec Sports website. ZUMBA is a Latin-inspired cardio dance workout, and the first 60 participants are slated to receive wands.
The “Tri-Wizard Race” is set to be a race using adult-sized Big Wheels, which are tricycles with oversized front wheels.
The final event, “A Very Harry Halloween at Rec Sports,” is a chance for participants to answer Harry Potter trivia questions, decorate pumpkins, drink butterbeer and eat snacks, according to the Rec Sports website.
Thomas said she expects about 500 people to participate.
Rec Sports has spent about $1,050 on all of the activities associated with Haunted Halloween, Thomas said.
She said Rec Sports’ Halloween activities started a few years ago.
“We noticed in 2011 that there weren’t many Halloween celebrations on campus, and decided to begin a tradition of special Halloween programming,” Thomas said.
Rec Sports’ first year of Halloween-themed programming, “A Nightmare on 17th Avenue,” featured a Halloween Fun Run, a Michael Jackson “Thriller” class and pumpkin decorating, Thomas said.
“Last year’s theme, ‘Movies, Monsters and Motion,’ incorporated popular movies into our programming,” Thomas said. “We held Pirate Indo-Row, Harry Potter-themed activities, a Halloween dance class and more.”
Thomas said Harry Potter has played an integral role in current college students’ lives.
The first Harry Potter novel of the seven-book series was published in the U.S. in 1998. The final book was published in 2007.
The eight Harry Potter movies grossed nearly $8 billion in box office revenue worldwide, according to The Numbers box office data website.
Andrew Nicol, a graduate student in mathematics, said in an email he is looking forward to the event.
“OSU always does a great job of creating these fun and relaxing events,” Nicol said. “They are a great way to de-stress and have fun in the middle of the semester.”
Nicol said he is a Harry Potter fan.
“I’m really looking forward to trying the butterbeer,” Nicol said. “It was very popular in the past and they ran out before I got there last year.”
Ellen Dupont, a first-year in exploration, said she is not a big Harry Potter fan but still thinks the event sounds fun.
“Harry Potter appeals to a large majority of people, and it is cool that OSU takes the time and effort to put on events like this,” Dupont said.
The Harry Potter-themed day is set to start at 6:30 a.m. and last until 6 p.m.