December 3, 2014

Californians celebrate 50th at Dickens Village

 

By STU MERRY

What do two Californians celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary do to observe the milestone? Head to Hawaii? No. Florida? No. Alaska? Not in November. They head to "balmy" Garrison, North Dakota to take in the Dickens Village Festival.

Visalia, Calif., residents Bill and Carrie Diltz are avid Dickens fans. Carrie has numerous Department 56 Dickens Village pieces. While the couple used to pack them away after the holidays, the miniature buildings now claim a permanent place, year-around, in the family home.

"We just enjoy the villages," Carrie said.

A couple years ago the two ran across an article in a magazine that told about Garrison’s Dickens Village Festival.

"We should do that someday," Carrie said. Last year, celebrating their 49th anniversary, Bill and Carrie agreed – for their 50th, it would be Dickens in North Dakota. Train reservations were made. Reservations for the festival were made. The date was set. "We came here just for this," Carrie said.

Once in Minot, the couple flagged a cab for the 50-mile trip south to Garrison. The two stayed at the North Shore Inn & Suites, taking in nearly every event that took place this past weekend. Getting around town – the two employed the "Cash Cab."


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