For almost 48 years, the Galveston Historical Foundation’s Dickens-on-the-Strand festival has highlighted downtown Galveston’s Victorian-era architecture while providing a one-of-a-kind holiday destination filled with the sights and sounds of Charles Dickens’ work.
This year’s event continues that tradition with new entertainers and events, returning favorites, and family-friendly programming.
This GHF annual fundraiser begins Friday, Dec. 3, with free admission to Fezziwig’s Beer Hall from 5 to 9 p.m., hosted by Charles Dickens himself. It continues with ticketed entry Saturday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 5, from noon to 6 p.m. Mechanic and Strand streets from 20th to 25 streets will be fenced off for the festival.
“The 2021 Dickens-on-the-Strand promises to be a remarkable return to our full annual holiday festival. Our board, staff and volunteers are ready to make Galveston come alive again in the holiday season as we recognize the wonderful work of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,” said GHF Executive Director Dwayne Jones.
The holiday street festival, based on 19th Century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on multiple 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 drinks, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items.
A children’s area on 24th Street includes a snow yard, petting zoo and Tiny Tim Playland, with a mural for the children to create and also sidewalk chalk drawings.
Special Events include Dickens After Dark, Breakfast at Ashton Villa, Dickens Soiree at the Bishop’s Palace, Salute to Sunset, the Dickens Dash, the St. Arnold’s Strand Walking Tour, Tea with the Captain’s Wife and the Holiday Handbells at St. Joseph’s. There will be a costume contest and interested people can register online.
Ollie Dickens, the great-great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, is traveling from England to Galveston and will be helping with events.
For more information on tickets and the festival events, go online to https://www.galvestonhistory.org/ or call 409-785-7834.