The 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6, 7 and 8 in Wellsboro.
“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.”
When it began in 1984, Dickens had 12 vendors on sidewalks along Main Street. This year, there will be 216 Dickens artists, craftsmen and food vendors, both indoors and outdoors.
Hamilton-Gibson will present A Dickens of a Concert Friday night and six performances of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at 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 Dickens and how he came to write “A Christmas Carol.”
Local churches will host a variety of indoor events Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7. 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.
Indoors on Friday and Saturday will be 24 artists and craftsmen in the United Methodist Church and food and eight artisans in the Wellsboro Active Living Center, and, indoors and outdoors on Saturday are 49 artisans and food vendors at the Wellsboro Fireman’s Annex.
Saturday only, the business section of Wellsboro’s Main Street and two side streets will be closed to motorized vehicles and transform into an outdoor Victorian marketplace with 100 artisans offering wares for holiday gift giving or to keep and 35 street food vendors with goodies to eat or to give as a gift.
Promptly at 9 a.m., the town crier will greet everyone with the ringing of his bell. The Dickens Fezziwig Street Performers will welcome the crowd and do the Sir Roger de Coverley contra dance, skits and sing.
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 the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Victorian Strolls on Main Street.
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 with Santa and a carol sing will be on The Green.