FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Molly Dannenmaier
Galveston Historical Foundation
502 20th Street
Galveston, TX 77551
Dickens on the Strand, Galveston’s Victorian Christmas Festival, to be Held December 1 and 2
Hear the sounds of carolers, handbell choirs and bagpipers echo through the street. Stop to watch Victorian-era jugglers and magicians perform on corners. See the streets filled with Victorian-clad Bobbies, Beefeaters, gentlemen and ladies. Enjoy delicious foods and extraordinary merchandise from traveling artisans, craftsmen and cooks. Close your eyes and you will be taken back to the age of Charles Dickens when the British Empire was at the height of its glory and power. Open them and discover yourself at Dickens on The Strand, Galveston, Texas’ internationally renowned Victorian Christmas Festival.
During Dickens on The Strand, Galveston’s Strand National Historic Landmark District is transformed into Victorian London with costumed characters filling Galveston’s turn-of-the-century commercial district. As visitors enjoy the festive Christmas atmosphere, downtown Galveston feels as though one has stepped back to a time when Victorian England reigned supreme and Charles Dickens’ characters were loved by allincluding Galveston readers of the time. With continuous entertainment on six stages, a host of children’s activities including a playground full of real snow, and three different parades featuring Her Royal Majesty Queen Victoria, Dickens on The Strand offers visitors a welcome winter escape to sunny, festive Galveston.
The festival, always held the first weekend after hurricane season has officially ended, offers Galvestonians an opportunity to celebrate having weathered yet another steaming summer of Gulf-Coast evacuation-readiness and get outdoors again after the heat has died down. Galveston’s Decembers are always mild, with Gulf Breezes and brilliant blue skies. The snow that flies through the air during the parades is always machine-generated.
Now celebrating its 34th year, Dickens on The Strand had humble beginnings. It started in 1974, a time when many of Galveston Island’s once magnificent Victorian commercial buildings were in decay and under the threat of demolition. A group of Galveston Historical Foundation members knew the fate of their city’s architectural history was in their hands and they created the festival in order to showcase the downtown architecture with the hope of generating a positive feeling about the downtown area. The downtown has now been magnificently restored, and the festival continues to grow and change year after year.
Named one of the “100 Most Fun Places To Be In the World” by travel writer Alan Davis, Dickens on The Strand is not just a tradition for Texans, but for visitors from all over the world. Dickens on The Strand has achieved national and regional recognition as one of the “Top One Hundred Festivals” in North America by the American Bus Association and one of the “Top Ten Festivals” in the state by Texas Highways Magazine.
In addition to the continuous action on the Strand, visitors are invited to several special events each day. On Friday, November 30, guests can feast on fine food and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the 1880 Garten Verein dancing pavilion at the Traditional Dickens Feast. Hand-bell choirs will perform traditional holiday carols at St. Joseph’s Church, a gothic revival church built in 1859. On Saturday, December 1, guests are invited to start their day with a full English country breakfast, served in the ballroom of Ashton Villa, Galveston’s famous antebellum mansion.
Galveston Historical Foundation invites everyone to come and join this wonderful and unique holiday tradition. Dickens on The Strand is open to the public Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information please visit www.galvestonhistory.org or call 409-765-7834.