Guest Blog: It’s the Wand that Chooses the Wizard

Judi Christy
Special Events & Marketing Manager
Fieldcrest Estate

Truth be told, I wanted a change. As the marketing director of a very successful – very noteworthy county arts council, I had pretty much been there and done that for 10 years. Enough? I thought so. It was time to give someone else the chance to spread her wings, and time to let my wings fly to a place where, as it turns out, ruffling feathers was all the rage. (wink)

I landed at Fieldcrest Estate.

Where? I won’t be offended if you’ve not heard of it. I’ve only been here for a few months, and even a marketing wizard like myself, needs a bit of time – and a bit of magic – to make Fieldcrest a household name.

Fieldcrest Estate, in its most basic definition, is a 55-acre, privately owned property at the site of the former Hoover Dairy Farm. But today, we don’t milk cows. We’ve “moooved” on to running an award winning brunch buffet, a historic B&B, monthly special events – and highlighting the wonders of wizards and jack-o-lanterns.

In short, my tenure at ArtsinStark was a solid pre-requisite.

As such, I’m no stranger to oddity and flare, having fun and being just a wee bit off-kilter – skills that will certainly prove invaluable on Saturday, October 17th as Fieldcrest Estate host the Wizards’ Gathering. With a limited ticket offering of 120, the Wizards’ Gathering is a signature event of the property and a personal labor of love for Fieldcrest’s owner.

Sad that the 8-movie series – yes, THAT movie series involving a wizard named Harry – was completed in 2011, she set out to have a party. Her party turned into an event, that later turned into a weekend, that later turned into 5 weekends … and, well – the staff got tired and the eventual outcomes were not quite as magical as she had wanted them to be.

So the reigns were pulled back in 2015 to make the Wizards’ Gathering a one-day celebration, focusing on the experience of a first year entering the enchanting world of the Phoenix School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. (Of course, it all mimics Hogwarts, but we can only get away with so much under the watchful wake of Warner Bros.)
Phoenix students, who receive a welcome letter, arrive at Platform 9 ¾, where they will learn what house they will be in. Hagrid (played brilliantly by Steve Shumaker) will meet them on Diagonal Alley (yes, I know the REAL one is Diagon). They will be led through 5 mini classes by prefects, and take part in a Quidditch lesson by Madame Hooch (the brilliant Cheryl Foutz) and the Case Western Reserve Quidditch Team. Yes, that is a real sport. Students will enjoy a grand feast, compete in a first years’ challenge, and cheer on the house that wins the, well, House Cup. The well-dressed lad or lass will also win a special prize. The whole event lasts about 6 hours.

And, then we rest.

Until it’s time for The GLOW.

No, not the aura that hits after rewarding myself for a job well done on October 17th – but the actual GLOW of 3,000 carved and lit jack-o-lanterns. Think Oglebay without the drive to West Virginia and without Santa Claus. The GLOW, another signature event of Fieldcrest Estate, is a family-friendly experience offering 20 displays that can be seen by walking, riding in the hay wagon and meandering through a maze.

It’s two nights, rain or shine: Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 from 7-9 p.m. Admission is $10 for Adults; $5 for children 4-12. Pumpkin treats, including mousse and latte will be available along with cider and my personal favorite, donuts.
And, that’s just October.

For Christmas, we add some spice to our recipe for success.