Charles Dickens Characters to Parade the Streets of Galveston This Weekend for Return of Award-Winning “Dickens on the Strand” Festival

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38th Annual Victorian Festival to Include New Events, Expanded ‘Steampunk Square’

The festival, organized by the Galveston Historical Foundation, has been named one of the top 100 events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association for its 2012 Top 100 Events contest.

While you may not find Galveston’s palm trees in England, the island’s historic downtown will make the perfect backdrop for this weekend’s “Dickens on the Strand” festival, where Charles Dickens characters will parade the streets of Galveston Saturday and Sunday.

Dickens on The Strand, an annual holiday street festival based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on five stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors will peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items.

A new event for 2011, Her Majesty's Royal Romp, will feature contestants dressed as Queen Victoria dashing down Ship's Mechanic Row. The crowd favorite Victorian Bed Races will feature contestants wearing Victorian sleeping attire pushing Victorian-dressed beds on wheels down Galveston’s Mechanic Street.

Returning this year with an expanded bazaar, circus and Saturday night street ball is the Airship Isabella, an alternative Victorian “Steampunk” group of performers located in Steampunk Alley. Other returning favorites for 2011 are the Whimsical Whisker Revue, a facial hair contest for both the bearded and the dandy judged by the Austin Facial Hair Club; Dickens' Victorian Costume Contest; Civil War living history encampments and daily parades through Galveston's National Historic Landmark Strand District.

The 2011 Dickens on The Strand also features kid-friendly options such as Picadilly Circus, a children's playground with elephant and camel rides and a petting zoo; and Artful Dodger Lane, where art students create a chalk London on Galveston’s streets.

The festival, organized by the Galveston Historical Foundation, has been named one of the top 100 events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association for its 2012 Top 100 Events contest.

This year's event runs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets purchased on or before Dec. 2 are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 7-12. Purchase tickets online at http://www.dickensonthestrand.org, by calling 888-305-7627 or at area Kroger stores.

Tickets purchased at the gate are $14 for adults and $8 for children. Attendees in Victorian costume are admitted for half price. For more information on Dickens on The Strand, Galveston Historical Foundation, or to purchase advance tickets, please visit http://www.galvestonhistory.org or call 409-765-7424.

Media Contact: Will Wright, Galveston Historical Foundation, at 409-765-3404 or will.wright(at)galvestonhistory(dot)org. Media may also contact Leah Cast, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, at 409-682-3029 or lcast(at)galvestoncvb(dot)com.

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