November 26, 2008

Dickens Festival is set to begin

Dickens Festival is set to begin

By CHERYL ODDEN

If the Garrison community had just one word to encourage visitors to attend its annual Dickens Village Festival it would likely be a hearty "Welcome!"

Hopefully, the invitation will be heeded and Dickens guests will come to enjoy the wide variety of activities that are planned for this year’s festival.

Now in its 15th year, the festival has grown far beyond its humble beginning.

Visitors to the 2008 Dickens Village Festival will be treated to a modern version of Merry Olde England during the time of Charles Dickens. They can attend an original stage production based on Charles Dickens’ "Christmas Carol," ride an authentic English double-deck bus and shop at an English Market where dozens of vendors sell their wares. They can raise their pinkie at an English high tea and go for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

Each afternoon, guests will have several low-cost entertainment options. They include tours – both a local home and a private whaling museum. Special afternoon entertainment will feature live performances by talented musicians at the Kota Theater.

An added treat for festival goers is no-cost entertainment that includes visits to the North Dakota Firefighter’s Museum and to the Fort Stevenson Guardhouse at the nearby state park. (Rides to the state park will be available aboard the Queen Elizabus at 1 and 3 p.m. for a modest fee).

Street vendors, a perennial Dickens attraction, will sell an assortment of food each afternoon from 4-6 p.m. Favorite fare includes sausage-on-a stick, meatballs, baked potatoes and smoked turkey drumsticks. Other menu items include sweet treats and hot soups.

A lighted parade, a Dickens tradition, is held each evening at dusk.

The next big Dickens event, a live stage performance of "God Bless Us, Everyone," will be Friday and Saturday evening at the Kota Theater. Ticket holders for the 7:30 p.m. performance are invited to arrive early for an old-fashioned holiday sing-along.


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