NI town officially becomes part of Harry Potter Wizarding World
Today proved to be a magical day for Ballycastle as the town officially became part of the wizarding world based on the Harry Potter series of books and films.
To mark the release of the illustrated edition of Quidditch Through The Ages, Ballycastle was named as one of 13 Honorary Quidditch Towns.
The Co Antrim town was picked out in recognition of its own fictitious Quidditch team – The Ballycastle Bats.
The book written by JK Rowling and illustrated by Emily Gravett is a guide to Harry Potter’s favourite sport.
Ahead of its release tomorrow publishers Bloomsbury were in Ballycastle to present the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding, with a decorative banner featuring gold Quidditch hoops celebrating the Ballycastle Bats.
The team features in the wizarding world’s Quidditch league and the banner also bears the town’s Quidditch team crest – a red bat in front of a fortified tower.
Bloomsbury Publishing has also delivered activity packs to local shops.
Mayor Mark Fielding said: “We’re delighted to be recognised as an Honorary Quidditch Town.
“Harry Potter’s favourite sport Quidditch brings joy to children and adults across the world, and this decorative banner, emblazoned with the town’s team colours, shows our support for our beloved Quidditch team.”
Aine Franey, an 11-year-old pupil at Cross and Passion College, said: “I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and dream of playing Quidditch, so I’m really happy to find out that I now live in an Honorary Quidditch Town.
“I loved visiting the sign and it’s great that Ballycastle has been honoured in this way.”
A spokesperson from Bloomsbury Publishing said: “We’re really proud to recognise Ballycastle as an Honorary Quidditch Town alongside ten other towns and villages across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“Harry Potter fans can now unearth the real-life towns and villages inspiring the names of Quidditch teams and we ask anyone planning a visit to Ballycastle to first check national and local travel guidance on coronavirus to ensure their visit is made safely.”
In total 11 towns and villages across the UK and Ireland are being honoured in celebration of the new book as well as two fictitious Quidditch towns.
Fans can pledge their virtual allegiance to any of the thirteen Quidditch teams by visiting the official Harry Potter fan club – www.wizardingworld.com