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Some complain about spending $40 on Harry Potter themed bar crawl in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -- A Harry Potter themed bar crawl last weekend brought about 3,300 people to downtown Raleigh, but many who participated said they did not feel the magic.

Saturday, thousands filled Fayetteville Street with wands and scarves dressed as characters from the Harry Potter series.

"I would say I'm medium on the fanatic level. I'm not quite to naming my children," said Christin Hardy.

Hardy was at the "Wizard and Wand" bar crawl. She made sure she wouldn't miss it, which involved some finagling and schedule changes.

But she, and her sister, who drove more than an hour into Raleigh, made the event.

However, the bar crawl was not what they were hoping for.

"There was nothing even remotely magical about it. It was laughable," she said.

Hardy says lines for drinks stretched for blocks. She says promised souvenirs included with the bar crawl price tag were cheap, or nonexistent.

She says what is most frustrating is that people got in for free when she had to pay $40 to be part of the event.

Dozens online, like Hardy, complained about the event -- some even asked for refunds.

"I don't make a lot of money. I don't drink. I almost paid half a $100 to stand in the cold and go to this event and I got a chopstick and a plastic cup," Hardy said.

CBS North Carolina sat down with Zack Medford, the organizer of the event, and showed him some of the complaints.

"When I hear someone's complaints that say they did not have fun, it gets me in the heart. Like you said we put in a ton of time and a ton of effort to make a really magical experience and for some folks I think we fell short," said Medford.

Medford is a Raleigh business owner and a Raleigh native. He says he wants his town to have the best options for fun.

"We've learned a lot from this one -- it's our first time out and we'll make it 10 times better next year," said Medford.

He says the event raised thousands of dollars to help support the homeless community in Raleigh.

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