Hoopeston, Illinois, a small midwestern town known as the Sweet Corn Capital of the World got its first witch school:
It's a humble beginning, Hubbard says. The school is adorned with a "Witch School" sign and has maintained a quiet presence since moving to Hoopeston in 2003. He says that with an estimated 30 new students to 50 new students registering on the Web site every day, the "cyberministry" is rapidly growing.
The town's residents weren't amused:
When Hubbard first announced plans to house Witch School in Hoopeston, population 6,000, it caused an uproar among some residents, who feared the school would bring notoriety to the central Illinois town.
In 2003 as he finalized plans to move from Chicago to Hoopeston, residents of the town and its surrounding areas mobilized, signing petitions in opposition to the school and lobbying the City Council to try to stop it.
But the Witch School perservered:
When Witch School finally opens its doors to the public on July 1, Hubbard says he won't expect a flood of visitors, though he feels it will be a step toward acceptance as Wiccans in Hoopeston.
"Three years ago the question was did we have a right to be here," he said. "Now it's can we be successful."
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