WitchsFest USA 2012


Our journey from our 2012 beginnings at Union Square Park to now at Astor Place ….  

1st Annual WitchsFest USA 2012

Witches’ Coven to Take Manhattan’s Union Square This Summer
3 Feb 2012 05:00 PM EST
-by Drew Kolar, Editor-in-Chief; Image: Witches in Bikinis will attend WitchFest 2012 (Image Source: Witches in Bikinis MySpace)
The Craft, Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were things of fantasy to many teens in the 90s, but for some, they were—and in fact still are—inspiration to delve into the dark arts. Some of us have even continued the tradition.
Now, in New York City, something magical is brewing right in the middle of our own Union Square…
According to DNA Info, a coven of witches is putting together WitchFest USA, an event scheduled for July 8 to help them raise money to build a permanent home in Union Square.
The Wiccan Family Temple, a Lower East Side Wicca group, expects 50 vendors and 300 people to attend their event, according to High Priestess Hectuba Hestia. As Gothamist says, the vendors may be “selling items like those found in The Magic Box. Probably.” We whole-heartedly agree and approve—because seriously, who doesn’t love Buffy and the iconic lesbian witch couple Willow and Tara? Well, at least we do…
According to Hestia, the coven currently meets at a small, rented space at 107 Suffolk Street in an old public school, though they would ideally like to own a building with a backyard to perform rituals. The event will raise money by using “strategically placed wishing wells” for visitors to place donations, but they also plan to both entertain and inform the crowd of their background and practices.
“Being that it’s New York, people are accepting,” Hestia told DNA Info. “But there’s also a lot of misinformation.”
Hesita added that she is “definitely a witch,” though not all Wiccans identify as witches, nor do all witches practice Wicca. Wicca was created in the 1950s in Britain by Gerald Gardner, and the belief is based around the idea, “An [If] it harm none, do what you will.”
Wicca can also be very nature-oriented, like many old religions. Witches cast spells, which function like prayers, and Hestia and her coven use magic wands. She added, however, that they do not believe in or worship the Devil.
Hestia and fellow high priestess Starr Ravenhawk pitched the event to members of the Community Board 5 parks committee this week, also explaining that they plan on featuring Harry Potter-related merchandise as well as a performance by the Brooklyn-based glam/pop girl band Witches in Bikinis.
“You have to realize, you know, it is Union Square Park,” Hestia said of the more humorous and cliché attractions. “And there’s going to be all sorts of people walking around, not just the people coming for us.”
DNA Info says that the Community Board 5 parks committee approved WitchsFest unanimously, and it is now set to go before the full board for a final vote next week.
Will you attend WitchFest? AllMediaNY plans on being there for full coverage—and, with any luck, a glimpse of some of our favorite witch-related TV stars, if word hits Hollywood of the event. Shannen Doherty and Alyson Hannigan, we’re looing at you!
Follow Drew Kolar on Twitter @DrewKolar

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