At Miami's Books & Books, it was hamburgers, hot dogs and cookies cut into wizard and star shapes.
A Barnes & Noble (search) bookstore in Wauwatosa, Wis., had a miniature Hogwarts Castle, indoor Quidditch match and a slug count.
With the help of other downtown merchants, the Learned Owl Book Shop in Hudson, Ohio, converted Main Street into Diagon Alley. About 3,000 people strolled through the area Friday night and early Saturday morning, sipping pumpkin juice and stopping by shops that offered wand-making stations, a bubbling cauldron of Gryffindor Grog, Muggles Mocha Smoothies and Moaning Myrtle Muffins.
Harry Potter (search) ruled, as fans lined up to buy books and assembled for parties, parades and other festivities to celebrate the publication of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
The fifth installment in J.K. Rowling's (search) wildly popular series went on sale in the eastern part of the United States just after midnight Saturday. It made its publishing debut five hours earlier in Britain and was to be released across the country at 12:01 a.m. in each time zone.
"I've been waiting for this for years," said Alex Powell, 10, who wore a magic cape to dress up as Harry Potter at a Barnes & Noble party in Indianapolis.
At the Happy Bookseller in Forest Acres, S.C., book buyers were sorted into one of four Hogwarts dorms -- Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw -- as they entered the store, and were greeted by employees dressed like Hogwarts students.
Grant Lake, 7, wore oversized black-rimmed Harry Potter glasses that a Barnes & Noble in Dallas handed out to children.
"We don't usually stay up this late," said his mother, Stacey Lake. "I heard this one (Book 5) is a little scarier so we have to be a little careful."
That brought a quick question from Grant: "You're going to skip all the bad parts?"
A line of fans two blocks long snaked around a Barnes & Noble bookstore in West Des Moines, Iowa. Some, who had come as early as 6 p.m. to begin the vigil, sat in the store's aisles playing trivia games, or posed for pictures with a cardboard standup of Harry Potter.
One boy, with slicked-back blond hair, was dressed as Harry's nemesis, Draco Malfoy. A young girl, with knee socks, a cape and bushy brown hair, portrayed Harry's close friend, Hermione Granger.
Books of Wonder, a children's bookstore in New York City, held a "Magical Midnight Madness Event," featuring two live owls, face painters, a professional magician and prizes from a "sorting hat" -- just like the one used at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"All of this hoopla, if you really boil it down, is about ... a celebration for the publication of a book and that's a wonderful thing," said Kaylee Davis, the store's manager.