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Galveston Is­land, Texas - Make his­tory at Galveston’s world-fa­mous Vic­to­rian hol­i­day fes­ti­val, Dick­ens on The Strand! Held De­cem­ber 1, 2 & 3, the 44th an­nual fes­ti­val is pro­duced by Galveston His­tor­i­cal Foun­da­tion and is a hol­i­day tra­di­tion with great fam­ily pro­gram­ming, spe­cial hol­i­day per­for­mances, and newly cre­ated events all weekend long. This year’s fes­ti­val be­gins Fri­day, De­cem­ber 1 with free ad­mis­sion to Fezzi­wig’s Beer Hall from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and con­tin­ues with tick­eted ad­mis­sion Satur­day, De­cem­ber 2, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sun­day, De­cem­ber 3, from 12 to 6 p.m. Tick­ets pur­chased be­fore De­cem­ber 1 are $13 for adults and $7 for chil­dren ages 7-12. Tick­ets pur­chased at the gate are $15 for adults and $9 for youth. Dis­counted tick­ets for GHF mem­bers are avail­able for $10 in ad­vance or $12 at the gate. Tick­ets are avail­able on­line at www.dick­en­son­thes­trand.org, by call­ing, 409-765-7834 or at all area Ran­dall’s stores be­gin­ning Novem­ber 5. At­ten­dees in Vic­to­rian cos­tume will be ad­mit­ted for $8. “Our 2017 Dick­ens on The Strand prom­ises to be a wel­comed cel­e­bra­tion away from the events of the early fall,” states GHF Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Dwayne Jones. “With re­newed in­ter­est and fo­cus on Charles Dick­ens, we hope to in­form vis­i­tors more about this great writer, but also to have a lot of fun. Vis­i­tors of all ages will be met with street en­ter­tain­ers, mu­si­cians, and spe­cial events to kick off our hol­i­day sea­son on the Gulf Coast. Whether you have been to Dick­ens be­fore or it’s your first time, the an­nual hol­i­day fes­ti­val will bring cheer and de­light to the en­tire fam­ily. Join us again as we re­turn to the his­toric down­town Strand and cel­e­brate our hol­i­day amidst Galveston’s great ar­chi­tec­ture and her­itage.” The an­nual 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 drink, Vic­to­ri­an­in­spired crafts, cloth­ing, jew­elry, hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions, and gift items. Three de­scen­dants of Charles Dick­ens will grace the fes­ti­val as GHF wel­comes Mark Charles Dick­ens, a great-great­grand­son; Lucinda Dick­ens Hawk­sley, a great-great-great-grand­daugh­ter; and Jane Dick­ens Monk, a great-great­grand­daugh­ter. All de­scen­dants will be at nu­mer­ous events through­out the weekend. “Re­turn­ing to Galveston for Dick­ens on the Strand is a very ex­cit­ing prospect, not least be­cause this year I’ll be launch­ing my new book, Dick­ens and Christ­mas, at the fes­ti­val,” says Lucinda Dick­ens Hawk­sley. “I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing old friends and to mak­ing new ones, as well as to dis­cover what new ac­tiv­i­ties GHF has planned for us. This year, there’ll be three mem­bers of the Dick­ens fam­ily present, so come and say hello!” NEW IN 2017 A Dick­ens Soiree at the 1892 Bishop’s Palace Fea­tur­ing spe­cialty acts, award-win­ning per­form­ers and care­fully cu­rated food and drink op­tions, this new kick­off to the an­nual fes­ti­val is not to be missed! Held at the breath­tak­ing 1892 Bishop’s Palace on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 1, at­ten­dees will en­joy live mu­sic by Hous­ton’s Two Star Sym­phony, a spe­cial ac­ro­bat­ics pre­sen­ta­tion by Cirque La Vie, and ap­pear­ances by spe­cial guests in­clud­ing a read­ing by Mark Charles Dick­ens, great-great-grand­son of Charles Dick­ens. Tick­ets are $75 and reser­va­tions are re­quired. Dick­ens Cos­tume Con­test What fun is a Dick­ens fes­ti­val if you don’t have the char­ac­ters? This new ad­di­tion to the wildly pop­u­lar cos­tume con­tests puts the fo­cus squarely on the beloved char­ac­ters from Dick­ens’ lit­er­ary works. Held on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 3 at 3 p.m., and judged by our vis­it­ing Dick­ens de­scen­dants, reg­is­tra­tion will be open for in­di­vid­ual and fam­ily cos­tumes. Reg­is­tra­tion is $10 for in­di­vid­u­als and $15 for fam­i­lies. In­ter­ested com­peti­tors can sign up at the cos­tume con­test booth. Satur­day Night Show­ing of The Mup­pet Christ­mas Carol It’s been called the great­est pup­pet­based hol­i­day film of all time, and at this year’s Dick­ens on The Strand, guests can catch a free show­ing of The Mup­pet Christ­mas Carol on Satur­day night! Free for all at­ten­dees, the hol­i­day clas­sic will show at 7:30 p.m. on Satur­day night. The Mup­pets per­form the clas­sic Dick­ens hol­i­day tale, with Ker­mit the Frog play­ing Bob Cratchit, the putupon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). Other Mup­pets -- Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and Sam the Ea­gle -- weave in and out of the story, while Scrooge re­ceives vis­its from spir­its of three Christ­mases -- past, present, and fu­ture. They show him the er­ror of his self-serv­ing ways, but the mis­er­able old man seems to be past any hope of re­demp­tion and hap­pi­ness. RE­TURN­ING FA­VORITES Break­fast with Dick­ens The great-great-grand­daugh­ter of Charles Dick­ens, Jane Monk, isn’t just com­ing to this year’s event to take in the sights and share her her­itage, she’s also there to cook a tra­di­tional English break­fast! Join Jane and our award­win­ning chef at the beau­ti­ful 1859 Ash­ton Villa on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 2 or Sun­day, De­cem­ber 3. Tick­ets are $60 and reser­va­tions are re­quired. Com­pli­men­tary Book and Dick­ens Writ­ing Work­shop Dick­ens de­scen­dant Lucinda Dick­ens Hawk­sley will lead a spe­cial writ­ing work­shop, “What It Was Like to be a Child in Dick­ens’ Time” each day of the fes­ti­val for youth ages 8 and up. Also, through a spe­cial grant from the Alice Tay­lor Gray Foun­da­tion, the first 2,000 youth that en­ter the fes­ti­val grounds will re­ceive a spe­cial print edi­tion of Charles Dick­ens’ 1838 Cricket on the Hearth. Fezzi­wig’s Fri­day Night Mr. Fezzi­wig was ev­ery­thing Ebenezer wasn’t, and we pay tribute to his jovial per­son­al­ity at our Fezzi­wig’s Beer Hall. Join us Fri­day evening, De­cem­ber 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. for spe­cialty acts, hearty brews, and new friends all hosted by Dick­ens de­scen­dant Jane Monk. There will also be a spe­cialty cock­tail cho­sen from Cedric Dick­ens’ book Drink­ing With Dick­ens. Ad­mis­sion is free for this lively start to the 44th an­niver­sary. Dick­ens Chil­dren’s Writ­ing Con­test Could you be the next Dick­ens? This year’s fes­ti­val will give you the chance to ride in a car­riage with both of our Dick­ens de­scen­dants if your story is the win­ning se­lec­tion! Lucinda Dick­ens Hawk­sley will per­son­ally se­lect two sto­ries, one from a 7-9 age range and one from a 10-12 range, for the win­ner to ac­com­pany them as their spe­cial guest dur­ing a Dick­ens pa­rade. Sto­ries are lim­ited to 100 words and can be on one of three top­ics. De­tails and sub­mis­sions are at www.dick­en­son­thes­trand.org. Oliver’s Al­ley Chil­dren’s Area Chil­dren by the thou­sands come each year to the pa­rades, pet­ting zoo and more. This year’s event will fea­ture an ex­panded Oliver’s Al­ley chil­dren’s area, pre­sented by the Galveston Chil­dren’s Mu­seum, where spe­cialty pro­grams and events will be sched­uled all weekend long. FES­TI­VAL HIGH­LIGHTS 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 and daily pa­rades through Galveston’s Na­tional His­toric Land­mark Strand Dis­trict. Also, daily spe­cial events in­clude: 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 you aboard Satur­day, De­cem­ber 2 at 4:30 p.m. for heavy ap­pe­tiz­ers, cock­tails, can­non fire and spe­cial guests lead­ing up to Satur­day night’s Pick­wick’s Lan­tern­light Pa­rade. Tick­ets are $50 per per­son and reser­va­tions are re­quired. Hol­i­day Hand­bell Con­certs The 1859 St. Joseph’s Church, the state’s first wooden built church, well known for its ex­cep­tional acous­tics, hosts three hol­i­day hand­bell con­certs on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 1 at 5:30, 7 and 8:30 p.m. Tick­ets are $15 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 a day dur­ing Dick­ens on The Strand, you’ll visit three fes­ti­val pubs as you walk through the Na­tional His­toric Land­mark dis­trict with your guide. Tick­ets are $35 per per­son and in­clude three com­pli­men­tary beers. Ad­vanced reg­is­tra­tion en­cour­aged. 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@ galve­ston­his­tory.org.

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