On Friday, November 24, The Arts Council and the Downtown Alliance bring Victorian England to life during the 18th annual A Dickens Holiday!
Keep a look out on the street for your favorite characters from "A Christmas Carol.” Scrooge, Jacob Marley and other characters from Charles Dickens’ classic tale as they roam the bustling streets of downtown Fayetteville. Stay warm by purchasing a cup of hot cider and gingerbread along Hay Street.
Enjoy carriage rides, photos with Father Christmas, holiday music and carolers from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. among the many merchants and arts and craft vendors decked out in Victorian costumes.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of A Dickens Holiday downtown in horse-drawn carriages. Get tickets for a ride in Ye Olde Dickens Wagon for only $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets on sale at 222 Hay Street beginning at noon on the 24th. Want to take a longer, more personal carriage tour? Try out the Queen Victoria Carriagefrom the Transportation & Local History Museum. Tickets are $15 per person and advance ticket purchase is recommended. Call (910) 678-8899.
Returning this year inside the Arts Council gallery, is Annie’s Ale House, where wine and a variety of craft beers are available for purchase. Modeled on the old Victorian pubs, sales of wine, craft beers, sodas, cider and gingerbread begin at 1:00 p.m. at family-friendly Annie’s Ale House. During Dickens After Dark enjoy your beverage at choice following the fireworks while listening to pub-styled music in the gallery by Brynmor.
Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity, along with H&H Homes, presents A Community of Hope, a creative selection of gingerbread houses at SkyView (121 Hay Street)! The community is invited to create buildings to be displayed during A Dickens Holiday. If you would like to make a school, house, place of worship or other building, pick up an entry form by November 16 at the Habitat ReStore (3833 Bragg Blvd.). You do not need to be an artist or architect to participate!
Explore This Victorian Life display on the 2nd floor of the Market House, sponsored by the Transportation Museum. Literature, military items, a Victorian Christmas tree and other artifacts show how Victorians celebrated the holidays and includes an interactive display.
As darkness falls, thousands of townspeople join together at 5:30 p.m. for Fayetteville's largest Candlelight Procession, walking from the Arts Council to the Market House, to witness the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Fireworks. Afterwards, the evening continues until 9 p.m. with carriage rides, crafts, holiday shopping, live music in the Arts Council’s gallery and more.
A Dickens Holiday offers a shopping opportunity not found elsewhere. Downtown merchants, as well as artisans and crafters at booths on the street, offer unique gifts to kick off your holiday shopping. Handmade items offered by Victorian-style vendors include dolls, quilts, candles, jewelry, stained-glass ornaments and hand-knitted hats and gloves.
The performances are all part of A Dickens Holiday, a free annual event presented by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and the Downtown Alliance as a unique holiday and shopping experience.