In July 2018 the Pittsburgh chapter of Geek Girl Brunch celebrated three years as a chapter with our biggest and most magical brunch to date – a celebration of Harry Potter and our two decades of love for The Boy Who Lived. Pittsburgh members from all over the area spent a beautiful day in the park eating, competing, and having fun.
Leading up to the brunch, we had four weeks of online competition between our four houses. Each week we featured one of the houses – Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Gryffindor – and the traits that make each member of those houses unique. Competing to earn points for our yearly House Competition, Slytherin sailed into brunch with a strong lead over the other Houses.
With seventy-five ladies scheduled to attend (!!!!!), the Pittsburgh Officers worked to make the day a magical experience we wouldn’t soon forget. The downstairs kitchen area we turned into the Great Hall, complete with House tables and banners, floating candles, and enough food to give the House Elves a day off of work. Upstairs was transformed into Diagon Alley, with small areas for ladies to find lots of amazing things to do. Honeydukes provided an endless stream of sugar and candy for anyone with a sweet tooth. The Leaky Cauldron had a full alcohol bar for all of our of-age witches, complete with mimosas, Butterbeer, a Berry Potter drink, and delicious homemade sangria! At Olivanders each witch could see which wand chose to go home with her, a swag item they could all keep at the end of the day. Flourish and Blotts provided a reading corner for our Hermionie’s to study in, and board games and tables for everyone to play. And at the Owlery we teamed up with IGGPP to create and write our own postcards to other Harry Potter fans all over the world! With so much to do, our brunch turned into an all-day affair! All of our magical activities made the North Park barn we rented almost feel like Hogwarts for the day!
Food was served potluck style, with the Officers providing the main dish and each lady providing a side to share. One thing about our members – when we cook, we go all out! The spread was amazing, capped off by an adorable – and edible – Mandrake made by our very own baker Steph! Covered in a dirt dessert, we named our Mandrake Kevin and he was the only male allowed inside all day. He was almost too cute to eat – almost! But he proved to be the talk of the party, and will most likely go down in Geek Girl Brunch Pittsburgh lore. One day girls will talk about “The Mandrake Kevin they saw once in a bowl of dirt at brunch in 2018”!
All of this led up to our annual House Competition, where ladies compete with their Houses to be crowned the Hogwarts Champions. Things can get….rather…..um…..competitive when points are on the line, and this year was no exception. We hosted four events for each House to compete in: A trivia contest, a Horcrux Hunt, a Water Balloon Toss, and a Three-Headed (three-legged) Fluffy Race. The battle for first switch after every event – Slytherin started with the lead, Gryffindor took it over, Hufflepuff began to make a hard run for first, and Ravenclaw shut everyone down with their trivia knowledge. After four rounds of competition, we ended up with a tie for first place! Both Ravenclaw and Gryffindor had earned the same number of points in the afternoon, leading to a winner-take-all cup stacking competition. Both teams had two minutes to build the highest free standing cup tower from the cups we provided. With twenty seconds to go Gryffindor held a sizable lead over Ravenclaw, but a slight wobble in the table sent their cups crashing to the floor. With no time left to rebuild, Ravenclaw took home the win, and the 2018 House Cup Championship! After such a tense race to the finish, it was time to hand out swag and begin to clean up the party!
We had a wonderful time celebrating Harry Potter with our biggest group of brunchettes ever! Thank you to our five officers who worked so hard to put this together, and to our social media managers (Jamie, Shannon, and Steph) who helped with all the social media posts leading up to the big day. Sometimes it takes a village to pull off an event like this, and we’re so thankful to everyone who came, everyone who brought extra supplies, and everyone who helped with clean up and packing up when the event was over. We’re so proud of the group we have, and can’t wait to do this again…..until next year!