We’re so excited at the Staunton Antiques Center (SAC) because our little hamlet of Staunton, Virginia is just about to host the Third Annual Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival (QCMM) and SAC is all set to participate with the best of them!
At SAC we’re making displays for your magical delight as you come explore the store and we’ll have a nice little giveaway of free pouches for collecting your Mischief and Magic cards (while supplies last starting Friday).
Our creative vendors are tricking out their booths with all kinds of fun witching and wizardry type things and we’ll be known as Ye Olde Curiosity Shop during #QCMM. So come by the shop to see the fun and keep in mind that there’s much to explore in a curiosity shop beyond this temporary magic — so get ready to get curious!
But for your magical purposes we’ve got real wooden handmade wands, and dragon’s claws and dragon’s teeth necklaces and charms, too.
Sticking to the magical theme we’ve got professorial sweaters for teaching wizards and vintage black dresses for witches. There’s all kinds of decor of the magical kind like owls and enchanted animals, antique potion bottles, and enchanting home accents.
We’ve got oddities like clock faces and small parts of every imaginable kind, witchery-like do-dads and all manner of supplies to infuse your space or your costume with the spirit of magic and mischief for the makers out there who like a DIY approach. So come in beforehand or during the festival to see what you can find to get into the spirit.
And as for the festival itself, artist and performer Bryan Demory is putting the finishing touches for us onto two fan-inspired carnival cutouts that fans of the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling will love to put their faces into for photos and selfies. One depicts a wizard riding on a broom for which we’ve got some round glasses that you can put on to finish your wizarding look before snapping a photo. Another depicts a lovable motorcycle-riding giant with a side car that you can put your face into as his co-pilot on the road! We hope you’ll stop by for this bit of fan-based homage-fun!
And speaking of Bryan Demory — yes, he’s that giant at the festival — he was “cosplay” before the word cosplay was in common use.
Dressing up in characters as diverse as Nordic figures and Viking warriors, military reenactors, Saint Nicholas, and the Christmas goat-demon known as Krampus, among other figures, Bryan has been taking to festivals and events for decades and across continents to ply his unique brand of merrymaking!
And lucky us, Bryan being a born-and-raised Stauntonian, means that his artistic costuming and playful revelry has been seen here in town all during his career.
That’s why QCMM co-founder and organizer Sarah Lynch approached Bryan three years ago and asked if he would want to do some fan-based cosplay as a local version of the character “Hagrid” to hop off the magical train, parade the enchanted streets, and delight our wizarding people with his own fandom. His beard helped sell it!
Bryan, who hadn’t seen as much of the Harry Potter phenomenon as some, jumped at the chance to put in some research time and, with his girlfriend Linda Hilton, a local seamstress and owner of The Alteration Shop, made a fan-based costume for the character.
“It’s like cosplay,” said Bryan. “You can show up as anyone you want. I see this festival as just another form of cosplay. And it helps having a seamstress as a girlfriend. She’s helped me with so many things.”
Even so, when he played that lovable giant in the previous years of the QCMM Festival, Bryan wasn’t prepared for just how lovable he’d be to Potter fans. “I was kind of taken aback. I wasn’t expecting that level of enthusiasm. It was like I was with the Beatles or something!”
Artist, Entertainer, Rabblerouser
One of the ways I know Bryan is that over the past five years or so he’s done practical and artistic work for my shop. He’s a house and interior painter, but also a mural painter who designed a large mural on our mezzanine level with a playful take on the staircase to the upper level art gallery — The Artisans Loft — above. Come in and see it!
And Bryan is just plain one of those around-town figures who everyone recognizes. A real town fixture with an outsized personality! Now even more so because of his fan-based cosplay at QCMM!
I know I was thrilled last year when festival participants came by SAC to enjoy the carnival cutout board of a flying wizard that we offer. And I can’t wait to have you all back to do that again as well as hop a ride on the giant’s motorcycle sidecar, both made by Bryan. He’s made other carnival cutouts that will appear all around the wizarding realm here in town.
All weekend long we’ll be open extended hours and ready to greet you at SAC and give you our free pouch (one per customer while supplies last), offer you our many magical shopping opportunities (both including and well beyond the festival theme), and share in the fun of the QCMM Festival.
Have a charming time!
— Ellen Boden, Proprietress, Staunton Antiques Center