The celebration of the release of the new book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, turned Kensington into the fictional Diagon Alley.

It’s a reference to the beloved books that fans could not resist. So many people showed up, the city had to shut down parts of 10th Street and Kensington Road.

The neighbourhood organized the event, encouraging fans to dress up as characters. People could pick up a “Marauders’ Map” along with a copy of the book, then head to restaurants in the area for butterbeer, chocolate frogs and other Potter-themed treats. Many shops are decorated in a Harry Potter theme.

For those who preferred the outdoors, a Quidditch match was held in Riley Park. The game is based on the one in the book, without the flying brooms, of course.

Thousands lined up outside bookstores to get a copy of the new title, which is the eighth book in the series and picks up 19 years after the last book ended. Fans said the wait was worth it.

“I like all the magic about them and the spooky but then cool things,” said Morgan Austin.

“It’s been hugely anticipated, no one knows what it will be like because they kept it a secret, so I feel it will fly off the shelves,” said Krista MacDonald, Coles Books.

In fact, some stores have sold out of the book. Some fans even started lining up on Saturday night to get their hands on the story, which was released at midnight.

The release of the book coincided with the opening of the stage play in London, England, and with the 51st birthday of the book’s author, J.K. Rowling.