The 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6, 7 and 8 in Wellsboro.
On Saturday, there will be 216 Dickens artists, craftsmen and food vendors, both indoors and outdoors. The business section of Wellsboro’s Main Street and two side streets, closed to motorized vehicles, will magically become an outdoor Victorian marketplace with 100 artisans offering delightful wares for holiday gift giving or to keep and 35 food vendors with delectable fare to eat or to give as gifts.
Promptly at 9 a.m., the town crier will greet everyone with the ringing of his bell.
The Dickens Fezziwig Street Performers will take the stage at the intersection of Crafton and Main. Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig will welcome the crowd and do the Sir Roger de Coverley contra dance with their entourage.
“The Fezziwigs are characters from Charles Dickens’ book, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and embody the best of the holiday season,” said Thomas Putnam of Hamilton-Gibson Productions. Our street performers will be greeting guests and locals with warmth, music, good cheer and good fun. Passersby are always encouraged to join in no matter what is being performed or where,” Putnam added.
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, an additional 32 art, craft and food vendors will be found indoors at the United Methodist Church and Wellsboro Active Living Center plus at least 49 more on Saturday when the Wellsboro Firemen’s Craft Show with food for the public opens at the annex on East Avenue.
The Dickens Best Dressed Showcase is celebrating its fourth anniversary with prizes valued at $1,000 for the first place winner along with prizes for second place and other winners. Registration for the contest is between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday. At 1 p.m., judges will select the Best Dressed for Dickens 2019.
Everyone (in costume or not) is invited to participate in Saturday’s10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Victorian Strolls on Main Street.
“It all adds up to a lot of fun,” said Julie VanNess, Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Seeing people enjoying themselves and coming together as Dickens’ characters and singers and musicians willingly sharing their talents is really refreshing and in keeping with the holiday spirit. Having a good time is what our festival is all about.”
At 5 p.m. Saturday night, the Candlelight Walk for Peace will begin at Packer Park on Queen Street and at 5:30 p.m. the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on The Green with Pennsylvania State Laurel Queen Allison Diehl, a senior at Millville Area High School; Santa Claus and a carol sing.
Hamilton-Gibson will present A Dickens of a Concert Friday night and six performances of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Deane Center’s two theaters on Saturday and one on Sunday.
All three days, the Arcadia Theater is showing the film “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” which is about Charles Dickens and how he came to write “A Christmas Carol”, published 176 years ago this December.
Local churches will host a variety of indoor events Friday and Saturday. Among them are a Dickens of a Dinner, lunches, concerts, a display of model trains, a cookie sale and in the spirit of helping others, an Alternative Giving Christmas Fair with entertainment and refreshments.