Dickens on The Strand Returns December 5, 6 & 7 to Historic Galveston Island

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Forty-first annual event to feature three days of Victorian holiday revelry and Dickens descendants.

Dickens on The Strand's Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria waves to her adoring fans.

All hail her majesty, the Queen! The 41st annual event, produced by Galveston Historical Foundation, returns the first weekend in December. This year’s festival begins Friday, December 5 with free admission from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and continues Saturday, December 6, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, December 7, from 12 to 6 p.m. Tickets purchased before December 5 are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 7-12. Tickets purchased at the gate are $14 for adults and $8 for youth. Discounted tickets for GHF members are available for $9 in advance or $11 at the gate. Tickets are available online at http://www.dickensonthestrand.org, by calling, 409-765-7834 or at all area Randall’s stores. Attendees in Victorian costume are admitted for ½ price.

“It’s exciting for us to offer a new twist to the annual Dickens event,” states GHF Executive Director, Dwayne Jones. “This year we bring back some old favorites for those who come annually but we are adding a distinctive historical theme that will add new attractions and cultural experiences.”

The annual holiday street festival, based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on six stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors 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.

Two descendants of Charles Dickens will once again grace the festival as GHF welcomes Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, great-great-great-granddaughter of Dickens, and Jane Monk, great-great-granddaughter. Both women will be at numerous events throughout the weekend. Lucinda will be promoting her new book “Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards” at the festival.

NEW AND EXPANDED IN 2014

Fezziwig’s Beer Hall - Mr. Fezziwig was everything Ebenezer wasn’t and we pay tribute to his jovial personality with our new Fezziwig’s Beer Hall. Join us Friday evening, December 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. for a special kick off at our expeanded Fezziwig’s Beer Hall with specialty acts, hearty brews and new friends all hosted by Dickens descendant Jane Monk. Admission is free for this lively start to the 41st anniversary.

Dinner With Dickens at the 1880 Garten Verein - It’s a renewed take on a Dickens classic as the annual dinner returns to the breathtaking German dancing pavilion. Held for one night only on Friday, December 5, 6 p.m., “Dinner with Dickens” will treat guests to an evening of specially crafted food, grand storytelling and royal company as the festival’s Queen Victoria makes her annual entrance. Returning to the breathtaking 1880 Garten Verein, it’s a holiday dinner not to be missed! Tickets are $80 per person and reservations are required.

Oliver’s Alley Children’s Area - Children by the thousands come each year for the parades, petting zoo, history encampments and more. This year’s event will feature the new Oliver’s Alley children’s area, presented by the Galveston Children’s Museum, where specialty programs and events will be scheduled all weekend long. Lucinda Dickens Hawksley will also lead a special workshop at Oliver’s Alley for participating youth.

Salute To Sunset onboard the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA - The Texas Seaport Museum transforms to a London wharf for this toast to the end of the day and beginning of the evening. The Tall Ship ELISSA welcomes guests onboard Saturday, December 6 at 4:30 p.m. for heavy appetizers, cocktails, cannon fire and special guests leading up to Saturday night’s Pickwicks’s Lanternlight Parade. Tickets are $45 per person.

Holiday Handbell Concerts - The 1859 St. Joseph's Church, the state's first wooden built church and well known for its exceptional acoustics, hosts three holiday hand bell concert on Friday, December 5 at 5:30, 7 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and reservations are required.

Saint Arnold’s Strand Walking Tours - Learn about the history of The Strand and enjoy some of Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s signature ales during this new tour. Held twice, both days of Dickens on The Strand, participants will visit three festival pubs as they walk through the National Historic Landmark district with their guide. Tickets are $25 per person and include three complimentary beers.

The festival weekend also hosts a multitude of spirited fun with events such as the crowd favorite Whimsical Whisker Revue, a facial hair contest for the bearded and the dandy; the Dickens Victorian Bed Races; Victorian Costume Contest; Civil War living history encampments and daily parades through Galveston's National Historic Landmark Strand District.

For more information on Dickens on The Strand, Galveston Historical Foundation, or to purchase advance tickets, please visit galvestonhistory.org or call 409-765-7834. For more festival information, please contact Will Wright, Director of Communications and Special Events at 409-765-3404 or will.wright(at)galvestonhistory(dot)org.

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