Please Note: Due to the threat of rain, this event has been moved to the 1880 Garten Verein at 2704 Avenue O.

Galveston’s world-famous Victorian holiday festival kicks off with a new event in 2016. The “Grand Strand Soiree” will feature specialty acts, award winning performers and carefully curated food and drink for a lively start to the annual event. Held in the 1880 Garten Verein at 2704 Avenue O on Friday, December 2 from 6:30-8:30, tickets are $75 per person and reservations are required.


Attendees will enjoy live music by Houston’s 2 Star Symphony, a special aerial acrobatics performance by Cirque La Vie, and appearances by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, James Beard award winning author Robb Walsh and noted cocktail historian Elizabeth Pearce.

Complimentary food, wine, beer and cocktails are included in the ticket price. The evening will feature a special cocktail pulled from the pages of Cedric Dickens’, great-grandson of Charles, Drinking With Dickens book. Among the evening’s numerous menu items will be an authentic Galveston oyster bake with non-seafood items available as well.

“By the end of Charles Dickens’ career, Galvestonians hosted oyster roasts as a way to celebrate and especially to entertain out of town guests,” explains Renee Tallent, Galveston Historical Foundation’s Manager of Historic Collections. “Unique traditions and merriment developed around these roasts celebrating the Galveston oyster. Whether gracing the Victorian banquet table on specifically designed oyster plates, or roasted by the barrel in open pits for a crowd, 19th century Galveston loved her oysters.”

Held in Galveston Historical Foundation’s beautiful Hendley Green Park, this new event will showcase the food, sights and sounds of Charles Dickens life and times.




Lucinda Hawksley is an award-winning author, art historian and travel writer, with a special interest in literature and art from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, and wrote an authoritative, illustrated guide to her famous ancestor and his works in 2012. Lucinda is a Patron of the Charles Dickens Museum in London – and Patron of the Norwegian Pickwick Club. Her other books include Lizzie Siddal: The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel; Katey: The Lives and Loves of Dickens’s Artist Daughter; March, Women, March; and The Mystery of Princess Louise: Queen Victoria’s Rebellious Daughter. Visit for more information.



Cirque La Vie is a Houston-based contemporary circus troupe. Founded by Reyie Nal in 2010, Cirque La Vie is the first Houston-based contemporary circus company. Characterized by extraordinary physicality and originality, Cirque La Vie has produced original work and shows for Discovery Green, Houston Children’s Museum, and the Houston Fringe Festival, where CLV was awarded Audience Favorite in 2010 and 2013. CLV also performed on America’s Got Talent and can been seen in the film premiere of Without a Net. Visit for more information.



A three-time James Beard award winner, Robb is the author of five previous Texas cookbooks. A former restaurant reviewer for the Houston Press and the Austin Chronicle, Walsh currently co-owns a Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston with Chef Bryan Caswell. Walsh is a cofounder and board member of Foodways Texas. The mission of Foodways Texas is to preserve, promote, and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas. For more information, visit



Drinks Historian Elizabeth Pearce is the founder and owner of the company Drink & Learn, which offers tours, classes, and presentations, telling the story of New Orleans, the South and the United States through its iconic beverages. She is the Drinks Curator of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and the Education Specialist for the Herbsaint and Peychaud’s Bitters brands, telling New Orleans history through these products for the Sazerac Company. She is the author of the upcoming book Drink Dat, a guide to the bars of New Orleans, and is the co-author of the French Quarter Drinking Companion. She likes her whiskey neat. For more information visit and



Two Star Symphony is a Houston based instrumental music ensemble composing and performing all original music. Two Star’s dark distinctive sound is a result of a unique writing style that differs from most classical ensembles, in that member collaborates to create compositions where sheet music is never written. Two Star has created original works with or under commission for: American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre, Rice University, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston Public Media and Discovery Green. Visit

Tickets are non-refundable. The festival is open rain or shine. GHF is not responsible for independent transactions between visitors and vendors. We are committed to making Dickens on The Strand special needs accessible. If we can assist with arrangements, please contact us at 409-765-7834 in advance of your visit.
Open carry firearms, pets and ice chests are not allowed. Scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, skates, Segways and other recreational “wheels” are forbidden. Guests bringing in costume weapons and props must have them secured will be asked to go through additional screening.

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