This coming weekend marks the final days of the annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair. The event, self-described as “a twilight evening in Charles Dickens’ London Town,” has taken place 10am to 7pm each weekend since November 21. It will come to a close on Sunday, December 20, 2015.
“This well-run and jovial fair is so filled with events, food, music, and shops that you and your family will be entertained for days at a time. There is fun for all ages here, ranging from games and crafts for the children to drinks and ballroom dancing for the adults,” said attendee Oliver Huang.
Actors portray characters from Charles Dickens’ stories such as David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. Scenes from the classic holiday tale “A Christmas Tale” are bought to life by costumed actors. Themed dances and musical performances take place throughout the all-ages event.
“The dancers were fantastic, and gave tutorials to all. The music was tuneful despite the loudness of the venue, if I do say so myself, but I do not for a second believe that those finely dressed youngsters were orphans,” said singer Jenise Calasanti, who performed with her choir at the event.
The fair, which takes place at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, offers an abundance of entertainment. In addition to taverns and a dancehall, it features seven stages and over seven hundred performers.
“It’s a magical experience to immerse yourself in a perpetual Christmas Eve in Victorian London. Every year marvelous actors and musicians portray historical and fictional characters. You can sing along with Brass Farthing, watch dancing and parlor games at Feziwigs and have tea with Queen Victoria. You can even listen to Charles Dickens himself reading A Christmas Carol,” said regular attendee Lorelei Moon.
Performances are not the only kind of art offered at the fair, where a number of on-theme merchants present their often handcrafted wares. Among these are dressmakers, haberdasheries, jewelers, toymakers, milliners, painters, doll-makers, and other artisans and craftspersons.
“I was particularly impressed by the quality of the goods for sale, among which delicious fine cakes, rare old books, beautiful hand-made jewelry, professionally-tailored period clothing, hats, and feather creations for both men and women,” said Oliver Huang.
Although the venue is wheelchair accessible, offering handicapped parking at Gate 5 and the Main Entrance, there is a steep incline between parking and the entrance which may be problematic for those with manual mobility devices.