Harry Potter Mania Hits Coastal Empire

In the Coastal Empire, Harry Potter hype is everywhere. Children, adults and bookstores are in what's called "the witching hour," waiting for the first books to go on sale. We caught up with some of Harry Potter's biggest fans to find out why this is one of the biggest days of the summer for them.

The books are not allowed to be opened just yet. At Books a Million, they're hidden behind a shelf for now.

"It will be going on sale at one minute past midnight," explained assistant manager Debbie Wood.

And at Camp Venture at Islands YMCA, that is what everyone is talking about.

"I am going to the midnight party tonight," said Justin Marchan, who goes to Richmond Hill Elementary.

Hearing all this chatter about the magical books is like music to counselors' ears. "We hear a lot about Harry Potter and it's good because it encourages kids to read books," said program director Cliff Ducey.

And the kids will tell you, these books are long. But that's okay because that makes for plenty of Potter books to talk about. With all the hype surrounding the sale of The Half Blood Prince, even kids who can't quite read the book know their favorite characters from the movies.

Book stores are expecting massive crowds, since almost 11 million copies will be available worldwide.

"It's a record for any book," said Wood.

The kids at Camp Venture say they will be trading in their shorts for robes, Potter glasses and wands tonight as they wait for the witching hour to be over.

Here is a list of all the Harry Potter parties:

Midnight Magic Party
Barnes and Noble
Savannah, 7pm hosted by Magic Marc

Barnes and Noble
Hilton Head, 9pm

Abercorn Street, 9pm

Savannah, 9:30pm

Hilton Head, 9am-9:30pm

Bookstores all over will have similar events.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com