I seriously doubt that any of you are hearing about this for the first time here (it's July of this year, in case you are) but I'm very excited about it! When Half-Blood Prince was released, I was doing my internship in western Massachusetts. I bought my copy at The Book Loft in Great Barrington and I went over at midnight to pick it up. It was a great event. They'd decorated the whole store. They had a picture frame covered in a black cloth, and an employee hid behind it and yelled shit at you when you went past. There was the Mirror of Erised and the seven vials of potion from the first book. There were dried willow branches all around and a sign to "Beware of the Whomping Willow." People came in costume. To get to the register, you had to walk through a black veil, like in the 5th book.
The best part, though, was that they had a dementor working the register. When I bought my book, he gave me a Hershey's kiss! How great is that?! People came in costume and lined up through the whole plaza. It was the best Harry Potter release event I've ever even heard of. I want to go back there this summer with my sister (although she doesn't know it yet) to get my copy. Does anyone else have a tale of a good HP release event?
Pictures from that night:
A family of uber-fans waits in line
At the entrance to the store
Hagrid, a dementor, and a Muggle, working late to get everyone their HP!
Dumbledore appeases the fans