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Entering the land of enchantment

Okotoks has always been an enchanting place to live and visit. This weekend, it will be downright enchanted. More than 40 locations are celebrating an Enchanted Okotoks on Oct. 27.
Jasmine, from School House Pets on McRae Street, will dress up for the store’s Medusa’s Menagerie as part of Enchanted Okotoks on Oct. 27.

Okotoks has always been an enchanting place to live and visit. This weekend, it will be downright enchanted. More than 40 locations are celebrating an Enchanted Okotoks on Oct. 27. “It’s a celebration of everything fantasy,” said Katie Fournell, Enchanted Okotoks chairperson. “Magical creatures, books that are written in the magical style, movies that celebrate dragons, unicorns — a celebration of all things magical. “It’s like a focused comic-con.” It’s the second annual magical day in Okotoks, with last year’s celebration dedicated to all things Potter. However, this year’s event was enhanced by broadening the spectrum. “It was actually Robin Thibodeau’s [of Inspiration Studio] idea to expand the festival into something more welcoming to a variety people,” Fournell said. “We felt the fantasy will be more accessible.” There will be three themes to enhance one’s imagination. Businesses will have themes based on Wizards and Witches, Enchanted [fairies, princesses that ilk) and Adventure. There are symbols indicating which theme a location represents a wizard hat for the Wizards and Witches, a fairy for Enchanted and a compass for Adventure. The symbols are on a map provided for the thousands of visitors expected to flock to downtown Okotoks. There are more than 40 magical spots on the map and businesses have stretched their imaginations for the event. “Balance Everywear, a women’s fitness store on Elma Street, is doing Fantasy yoga and Fairy dust — they are creating a flow and naming various poses, instead of doing a downward dog, you might be doing a downward dragon,” Fournell said. School House Pets on McRae Street will have a tribute to their cool pets. “They are going to have Medusa for people to take pictures with — I know they are trying to make her hair look like snakes,” Fournell said, of the unique store’s Medusa’s Menagerie presentation. One store is so over-the-top its ostentatious, or something like that. “We are the Austentatious Crystal Bizarre,” said Wayne Austen of Austen Jewellers. “We’ll have healing crystals and crystal wands for sale for all of our ghouls, goblins and warlocks.” Those items are being brought in especially for this event. Regardless of how many wands go out the door, Austen Jewellers is delighted to be part of the event. “We’re just participating in an event that showcases the town and the businesses in town,” Austen said. “It’s a fun, awesome event.” Of course, being enchanting can work up an appetite. Various dining establishments are participating in the magical day. Shared Spaces Eatery on McRae Street is serving up a troll-themed menu. The British Chippy is offering Butterme Beer for an encore performance. The Duke has created a special drink called The Executioner that Fournell calls “definitely an adult drink.” Also there will be an arts market at the Elks Hall. “It’s a craft sale but everything is fantasy inspired,” Fournell said. New this year is a tribute to the Dark Ages. “We have a medieval park at Ethel Tucker Park,” she said. “We will have knights sword fighting over there.” Members of the Wardens of the Red Tower and the Dragons’ Own, which are medieval role players, are doing the presentations. Another feature this year is the Okotoks Cinema is presenting The Princess Bride on Saturday with proceeds going towards the Alberta High School of Fine Arts students’ trip to Cuba. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. with the movie starting at 10 a.m. Patrons are invited to dress up to win a door prize. For more on Enchanted Okotoks go to its Facebook page.