Having attended a Star Wars convention or two -- for the kid, swear -- I'm certainly in no position to gig folks gathering for a four-day shindig devoted to series of books (and movies, course). Besides, everything I know about Harry Potter I could fit inside a Golden Snitch, wee! Nonetheless, as further proof Dallas don't need no stinkin' convention center hotel to lure in the best fetishists, registration's now open for Portus 2008 -- a four-day-long symposium and git-down devoted to all things Harry Potter, set for the Hilton Anatole Hotel July 10-13. Special guest of honor is actor and Queen's favorite Jim Dale, who provides all the voices for the marathon-length audiobooks, but more promising is the Harry-Hermione fan fiction panel featuring authors Zorb, Purebloodgryffindor, Penny Linsenmeyer, Lady Aeryn and the Hysterical Hystorian. Expect a slide show, at least.
Oh, and speaking of the Hilton and conventions there next month, we're reminded today that on July 2, "over one thousand blind Americans, their friends and families, and other supporters will march from the Hilton Anatole Hotel ... to AT&T Plaza at American Airlines Center, where a special ceremony and rally will take place." That's when the Anatole will be hosting the 2008 convention of the National Federation of the Blind, beginning June 29. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.