London Underground to host Harry Potter fundraiser for Ames Public Library

London Underground hosted a Harry Potter-themed night at 7 p.m. Nov. 15, 2018.

Angela Rivas

For the first time ever, London Underground will host a Harry Potter-themed night after J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” on Thursday. The British pub is partnering with the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation (APLFF) to raise money from the drink proceeds.

“This event will raise funds for the APLFF that can go toward enhancements to library programming and collections,” said Lynne Carey, the director of the Ames Public Library.

London Underground has been planning the “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” event for more than two months. To keep the British originality of London Underground, the bartenders chose to name the event after the original name, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” over the American name, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

“There will be lots of ways to earn points, but everything is voluntary,” said Bryon Dudley, the promotions director for London Underground. “If you just want to come hang out and have a drink, that’s cool too.”

The origin of the Harry Potter event came from London Underground’s event, Pub Fiction, an annual bar crawl that donates to the APLFF. Pub Fiction includes six partner bars on Main Street where adults can dress up as their favorite characters from fictional stories.

The Harry Potter fundraiser encourages participants to dress as their favorite character. Individuals will be placed in their respective “House,” Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, based on the character portrayed.

Participants then will receive a button to distinguish themselves and their “House.” As the night goes on, participants will be able to gain points by participating in games. At the end of the night, the points will be added up to determine prizes for individuals and “House” winners.

One prize will include movie passes. Dudley hopes that these passes will be used to go see the new “Fantastic Beast: Crimes of Grindelwald,” the prequel to the Harry Potter series that releases this weekend. The timing of the event is a coincidence with the release date of the new “Fantastic Beasts” film.

Throughout the night, adults can have their drinks chosen for them by the Sorting Hat. A themed drink menu will be available, including the world recognized Butterbeer.

The event coordinators were resistant to the sale of Butterbeer during the event, believing that it wasn’t introduced until the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and would cause some debate.

“[London Underground] is an organization committed to helping the community thrive,” said Amy Juhnke, co-chair of the APLFF events committee. “Partnering on events like the Harry Potter event [helps] the foundation advocate for the library.”

In the future, Dudley hopes to continue with an annual Harry Potter-themed night, following all seven of the “Harry Potter” books and potentially all three of the “Fantastic Beasts” books.

“If this goes well, we could be hosting Harry Potter events for 10 years,” Dudley said.

The event will start at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Costumes are recommended, but not required. There is no cover charge to attend.