Harry Potter fans: PotterCon comes to San Diego

Attending PotterCon earns bragging rights on social media. (Courtesy photo)

Do you know your Butterbeer from Firewhiskey? The correct pronunciation of wingardium leviosa? Are you itching for the chance to wear your house colors with pride? Then PotterCon is the place for you. Bring your wands to the House of Blues at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 17 for a celebration of all things Harry Potter.

“At the end of every show, I’m like, ‘I cannot believe this is my life,’ ” said Margaret Kaminski, PotterCon creator. What started with some friends dressing up as their favorite characters at a bar in Brooklyn has turned into a nationwide tour for thousands of Harry Potter fans to meet, mingle, share their love of the series - and day-drink. Drinks served at each PotterCon include Butterbeer, Phoenix Tears, Firewhiskey and non-alcoholic Skele-gro.

“PotterCon is in a league of its own because we’re a 21+ event,” Kaminski said. Most of the people at other PotterCons are in their 20s and 30s. “We are the Harry Potter generation. When we were 11, we stayed up waiting for our Hogwarts letter. When Ron was snogging Lavender we were having our first kisses. We grew up with these characters... it’s like a childhood friend.”

Of course, Kaminski is quick to point out that they see a wide age range. Part of the magic of Harry Potter is bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together to celebrate their love of the series.

What exactly will you see at PotterCon? A lot of creative costumes, for one.

“People present the most incredible costumes, things they’ve put so much time and energy into creating,” Kaminski said. She admitted that part of what drove her to start PotterCon in the first place was wanting an excuse to wear the costumes and accessories she’d collected over the years.

On the main stage, there’s also a live Sorting Ceremony, trivia contest and Harry Potter-themed skits. There will be a solemn moment when they air an “In Memoriam” video for the characters who died in the books. In other parts of the venue, Potter fans can get their fortunes read in the Astronomy Tower and take photos at the step and repeat photobooth.

But for many, the best part of the experience is getting to meet and mingle with others who feel like Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest are more than just fictional characters. “It’s a celebration not just of the series, but of the fandom itself,” Kaminski said.

Tickets for PotterCon are $15 and can be purchased at PotterCon is a 21+ event.