Get on board Train of Events to celebrate Harry Potter

8 months ago

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent English faculty have planned a Train of Events each day from Oct. 11-15. Faculty, staff, students, and community members are encouraged to participate in various Harry Potter books and literacy awareness readings that are scheduled to take place after the University’s fall break, both on the UMFK campus and in the local community. Each event will include a drawing for a book gift certificate. 

Professor Geraldine Cannon Becker said, “Formerly known as Harry Potter Book Night, the internationally celebrated event is now Harry Potter Book Day. That day is Thursday, Oct. 12th, but we wondered, why stop with one day?” 

A series of events will give more people a chance to participate in the celebration of literacy, enjoying different flights of the imagination through readings of literature that build upon the use of imagination and help continue to increase literacy awareness. 

The first Train of Events stop is scheduled at UMFK’s Blake Library from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Cannon Becker said, “Costumes are not required, but you certainly may wear one, if you wish. I will be dressed as Professor Minerva McGonagall for these events.” Anyone may join us here and bring something to read or to have someone else read for you. Suggestions are “spooky” poems or excerpts of longer works.

The second Train of Events stop is scheduled to take place on Harry Potter Book Day, Thursday, Oct. 12 at Fort Kent Elementary School at 1:30 p.m. Becker will read a children’s book called “Feathers: Not Just for Flying,” by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. Cannon Becker said, “This is a science book about how feathers have many uses, aside from helping birds take flight. I hope to give each of the students a little feathered boost of confidence, knowing that they can do many things, and are learning more each day. I hope they will also keep their imagination strong.” 

The third Train of Events stop is scheduled to take place on Friday, Oct. 13 in UMFK’s Bengal Student Center from 2 to 4 p.m. Similar to the first event, but focused on UMFK students, student volunteers are invited to read some of their favorite pieces including: excerpts of longer works, poems, song lyrics, or original work they have written themselves. As usual, costumes are fine, but not required. Additionally, both books and movies may be discussed. 

The fourth Train of Events stop is going to be held at noon at Fort Kent Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 14. This event is open to the public where attendees may read along with the English faculty, being mindful of the ages in the audience when selecting material to read. Cannon Becker says, “I will probably read excerpts from the Harry Potter books, and a brief selection from Mary Stewart’s The Little Broomstick.”  

The fifth Train of Events stop is going to be held at First Mile Brewing Company at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15. Enjoy a brew – Harry Porter, Butterbeer Selzah, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. This is where the Train of Events stops, but all are encouraged to stay on board and keep sharing a love for reading, especially the Harry Potter Book Series. Cannon Becker said, “Here, we will wrap up this Train of Events, share some highlights and plan for next year. We’d love to see you. Get on board!” 

For more information on the Train of Events, please contact Cannon Becker at