16th Anniversary of A Dickens Holiday
Presented by the Arts Council and the Downtown Alliance
A Family Tradition Continues
On Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, Historic Downtown Fayetteville will again be transformed into a unique and wonderful experience.
So roll back the clock with us for A Dickens Holiday from 1 to 9 p.m.!
Horse-drawn carriages roll down Hay Street carrying shoppers the old-fashioned way, past merchants’ windows adorned with beautiful Victorian holiday decorations, past artisans and vendors of all sorts of delightful treats. Joyful children pose with Father Christmas for memory-laden pictures.
The smells of cider and gingerbread permeate the chilly air. And there is Ebenezer Scrooge himself, pursued by the ghost of Jacob Marley.
As darkness approaches and the clock reaches 5 p.m., townspeople gather in front of the Arts Council for the candlelight procession to the Market House, followed by fireworks.
***NEW LAST YEAR!!!***
Historical Tributes – This year, programming expands beyond Scrooge, Marley and other characters from “A Christmas Carol” to include depictions of actual people who lived during Victorian times. Queen Victoria, a crowd favorite in past years, welcomes characters who had a relationship to her court. Local actress Kaity Parson portrays Sarah Forbes Bonetta, who is best known as the goddaughter of Queen Victoria.Meet Ira Aldridge, an African-American Shakespearean actor who performed for the Queen. His character, portrayed by local actor Sonny Kelly, gives a glimpse into Aldridge’s unique experiences. Local singers, led by Arts Council Board member Rangel McLaurin, present special music in tribute to the Fisk Jubilee Singers of the 1800s who also entertained Queen Victoria.
Annie’s Alehouse – Also new this year is “Annie’s Alehouse,” a food court and performance area behind the Arts Council building modeled on the old Victorian pubs. During “Dickens After Dark” following the fireworks, you can indulge in some wine and share in some rousing songs by The Belfast Boys.
Gingerbread Community of Hope – Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity, along with H&H Homes, is presenting a Community of Hope – in the form of gingerbread! People from the community are invited to create buildings to be displayed at SkyView during A Dickens Holiday.
Want to get involved? You can sign up to volunteer by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Dickens Holiday 2014 is presented by The Arts Council and Downtown Alliance and is sponsored by:
Dr. Michael S. Bryant
Olde Fayetteville Insurance & Financial Services
Callahan & Rice Insurance Group
City Center Gallery & Books
Fayetteville Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
First Citizens Bank
Holmes Security Systems
Dr. and Mrs. Frank Stout
John Malzone’s Market Square Coffee House
And special thanks to our media sponsor:
Special events during A Dickens Holiday (subject to change):
Hot cider and gingerbread help keep you warm. Buy some along Hay Street. 50¢ each. 1-9 p.m.
Preserve a lifetime memory with a picture of you and your loved ones with Father Christmas and an authentic Victorian sleigh at the Arts Council building (301 Hay St.). $6 per print (or $15 for 3 prints). 1-8:30 p.m.
Amazing holiday performances of magic and music, along with the “Color Blind: Artwork in Black & White” exhibition
inside the Arts Council and behind the building in the “Annie’s Alehouse” food court and performance area. 1-9 p.m.
Dickens Carriage Rides – 1-9 p.m. Enjoy the sights and sounds of a Dickens downtown on a big decorated horse-drawn hitch wagon. Only $10 for adults, $5 for children. Tickets on sale at 222 Hay St. beginning at noon on the day of the event. Come early – they sell out fast!
Queen Victoria Carriage Rides 1-9 p.m. Enjoy a longer, more personal carriage tour from the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum (325 Franklin St.). $15 per person. Advance ticket purchase strongly recommended by calling (910) 678-8899.
This Victorian Life display on 2nd floor of the Market House from 1-9 p.m., sponsored by the Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum. Literature, military items, a Victorian Christmas tree and other artifacts show how the Victorians celebrated the holidays. An interactive display allows visitors to identify household items from Victorian times that are no longer in general use.
Candlelight Procession and Tree Lighting Ceremony Gather in front, or to the side, of the Arts Council for the 5:30 p.m. candlelight procession to the Market House. Pick up a free candle at selected merchants, or in front of the Arts Council building (while supplies last). Join thousands of townspeople for Fayetteville’s largest candlelight procession to the Market House, followed by fireworks!
Stay for a full night of fun after kicking off the holiday season with a traditional fireworks display. Carriage rides, crafts, holiday shopping and more continue until 9 p.m.!
Other Holiday Happenings: Create a Victorian ornament to take home or hang on the community tree from 1 to dusk at Fascinate-U Children’s Museum ($1 admission per person). Enjoy TubaChristmas in the sanctuary at Hay Street United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. and A Christmas Carol at the Gilbert Theater at 8 p.m. Take a free tour of the 1897 Poe House, decorated in Victorian style, at the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex from 10 to 4 p.m.
You can become a part of A Dickens Holiday by strolling the streets as a Victorian lady or gentleman with an easy-to-make costume. Just click here for quick notes on costuming.