Hundreds of Harry Potter fans gather for 4th annual ‘Yule Ball’ in SLC

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-17 23:51:19-05

SALT LAKE CITY – If you've ever dreamed of boarding a train and riding off to Hogwarts, leaving your Muggle friends behind, your best chance at a taste of the wizarding world of Harry Potter may be right here in Salt Lake City.

FOX 13 News was present earlier this week for the Fourth Annual Yule Ball, a tradition based around a special event featured in the fourth Harry Potter novel.

"This is our fourth year for the Harry Potter teen Yule Ball,” said Carrie Rogers-Whitehead of Salt Lake County Library Services.

Decked out in their wizarding best, about 1,700 teens, their parents, and even baby fans of Harry Potter packed the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan Friday night.

"Harry Potter's for everyone,” Rogers-Whitehead said. “We have adults that love it, kids that love it, it transcends generations, and someone can find a commonality in everything."

The festive event also took on a more serious note, as many fans were remembering the late Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape in all of the Harry Potter Films. Rickman died due to cancer this week.

"It's definitely a blow for imagination in general because these actors brought characters to life and stories into our hearts,” said Ryan Sagers of Taylorsville.

Many folks at the ball donned costumes to portray their favorite characters, from Mad Eye Moody to Rubeus Hagrid.

The free event featured a DJ and was sponsored by Salt Lake County Library Services, Utah Humanities and other organizations.

The event drew a little more than 1,200 last year. This year the number was estimated at 1,700.