Nfld. & Labrador

Hogwarts in St. John's: Local school gets magical transformation

St. Bonaventure's College held its annual Harry Potter Day on Friday, and Grade 3 students got the full magical experience.

Harry Potter Day an annual tradition at St. Bonaventure's College

Grade 3 students at St. Bonaventure's College started their journey to Harry Potter Day with a ride on this homemade Hogwarts Express. (Laura Howells/CBC)

St. Bonaventure's College held its annual Harry Potter Day on Friday, and Grade 3 students got the full magical experience.

Like any school year in the wizarding world, students began by boarding the Hogwarts Express.

Two fathers at St. Bonaventure's College school designed and built the Hogwarts Express last year. (Laura Howells/CBC)

After the train to school, students gathered in the Great Hall to sing the school song — yes, of course there were floating candles!

(Laura Howells/CBC)

You can't do magic without a wand, so every student got outfitted at Ollivander's Shop. 

Andrew Smith, a father at the school, built this replica of Ollivander's Wand Shop. (Laura Howells/CBC)

Inside the shop students tried out a few wands before finding The One.

Getting your first wand can make a witch or wizard hungry, so afterwards everyone stopped by the Honeydukes sweets shop.

(Laura Howells/CBC)

Colleen Stone, a mother who volunteers at the school, spent months constructing the legendary Hogsmeade store. Treacle tarts, chocolate wands, butter beer, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans — she had them all.

Honeydukes has all the magical sweets found in the Harry Potter series...including butter beer. (Laura Howells/CBC)

But life at Hogwarts isn't all songs and sweets. Students also had to take important classes, such as flying lessons. This year, parents constructed a zipline so students could ride their broom down the field.

Potions class is also mandatory. These students learned the fine art of brewing a good Polyjuice.

Students paid close attention to their potions class in the chemistry lab. (Laura Howells/CBC)

And of course, no Harry Potter Day would be complete without some excellent costumes.

This group of sly Slytherins just finished a transfiguration lesson. (Laura Howells/CBC)
Dobby the house elf got to hang out with the students during his day at Hogwarts. (Laura Howells/CBC)

Students were guaranteed a day of fun...even if they went into the Enchanted Forest.

This might be the one time students are allowed to go into the Enchanted Forest. (Laura Howells/CBC)

A 15-year tradition

Harry Potter Day has been an annual tradition for the Grade 3s at this school for the past 15 years. 

It started as a day of board games and movies, but every year it's grown into a bigger and bigger celebration of the wizarding world.

Grade Three teacher Jaline Rowsell (dressed as Fawkes the Phoenix) has been organizing Harry Potter day with her class for the past 15 years. (Laura Howells/CBC)

"It's just evolved into something more spectacular than I could ever imagine," said teacher Jaline Rowsell, who reads the book to her students every year.

This year, Rowsell and parent volunteers started planning for the event in February.

Heather Carroll gives her best Bellatrix Lestrange snarl for Harry Potter Day. (Laura Howells/CBC)

Heather Carroll (pictured as Bellatrix Lestrange) was a student at the first Harry Potter day in 2002. Now she's a teacher at St. Bonaventure's College, and loving the event more than ever.

As for the students' experience?

"It was really, really fun," confirms Grade 3 student Isobel Acevedo,

"It was really, really cool."

About the Author

Laura Howells

CBC News

Laura Howells is a journalist from St. John's who is now working in Toronto and Hamilton. You can reach her at