Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990 Page: 6
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Historic Galveston Island
December 1 and 2, 1990
Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm
Step back in time to the hustle and bustle
of Charles Dickens' London for a
Victorian Christmas celebration on
historic Galveston Island.
Beloved Dickens characters join in the
revelry with carolers, fire-eaters, tightrope
walkers and exotic animals.
Vendors hawk their wares beneath the
gaslights: porcelain and tapestry, herbs
and incense, lavender and lace from the
Tempting food and drink to please every
palate, from plum pudding and hot
roasted chestnuts to crumpets and wassail.
Adult tickets $6
Children and Seniors $3 4~
Save your shillings on advance tickets!
For more information contact:
Galveston Historical Foundation
Galveston Island, Texas 77550
(409) 765-7834 or (713) 280-3907
qalveston Historical Foundation s
DiICgE ON THE STRqND
G alveston Historical Foundation has great expectations for the seventeenth annual Dickens
G on The Strand celebration. Hundreds of volunteers, street vendors, and entertainers, all in
Victorian garb, will transform the gas-lit streets of the Strand National Historic Landmark
District into the London of Charles Dickens on Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2.
Dickens on The Strand brings back the bustle of a golden era when the sun never set on the
British Empire and thriving commercial ties with London made Galveston "Queen City of the
Gulf." The restored iron front buildings of America's largest collection of Victorian commercial
architecture provide the perfect setting for celebrating the best of times.
Visitors can look forward to several new events this year. The elegance of Dickens' London will
be relived at the first annual Victorian Costume Ball, Friday, November 30. The evening will begin
with a sumptuous dinner and cocktails followed by dancing and classical entertainment at one of
Galveston's historic hotels. The charming sound of handbells will fill the night at the Evening
Handbell Concert, also on Friday. There is no more appropriate setting for such holiday favorites
as Silent Night than 1859 St. Joseph's Church. The oldest German Catholic church in Texas is being
restored by the Galveston Historical Foundation.
Even with ten stages of continuous free entertainment, people-watching is still the most popular
activity at the celebration. Everyone in Victorian attire is admitted free, and hundreds of elegant
ladies and gentlemen, not to mention bobbies, beefeaters, and street urchins, mingle with the
crowds. Each afternoon, the town crier clears the streets as The Dickens Parade of Characters kicks
off to the sound of bagpipes. Throughout the festival site, costumed jugglers, tightrope walkers,
magicians and acrobats amuse the masses. Beloved Dickens characters like Ebenezer Scrooge and
Oliver Twist come to life before visitors' eyes.
Emmy award-winning producer/actor Alfred Hyslop of the Children's Television Workshop
returns to Dickens on The Strand with his one-man staging of Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol,
at Strand Street Theater. Dickens scholar and wit Professor Elliot Engel will give encore
performances of his monologue on the life and often hard times of the prolific British author, also
at Strand Street Theater. When the sun sets, the curtain rises on the musical version of A Christmas
Carol at the magnificently restored Grand 1894 Opera House. Also on the boards, the Tony awardwinning
musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, based on Dickens' unfinished work, plays at Strand
Dozens of booths, tearooms and restaurants serve tempting food and drink. Oysters and bangers
(sausages), roast chestnuts and plum pudding, hot cider, and cold eggnog give visitors an authentic
taste of the British Isles. Those who want to get an early start on their Victorian adventure can take
Morning Tea in the ballroom of the Ashton Villa. Guests will enjoy traditional British fare and
holiday entertainment in the ballroom of this elegantly restored 1859 mansion.
Shoppers can browse for unique Christmas gifts from a far-flung empire. Wool cloaks and lace
collars give modern dress a Victorian flair. Porcelain and Italian tapestry, herbs and incense bring
to mind exotic ports of call. Master craftsmen will demonstrate their skills, breathing new life into
age-old traditions. Within earshot of the blacksmith's forge, weavers and woodcarvers patiently ply
their trade. On Galveston's historic waterfront, old salts peddle maritime crafts.
Dickens on The Strand will be held Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2 in The Strand
National Historic Landmark District on Galveston Island. Admission at the gate is $6 for adults, $3
for senior citizens and children (six through twelve). Children under six are admitted free. Everyone
in Victorian costume is admitted free. Discount tickets are available for advance purchase through
Rainbow Ticket-master and Ticketron or by contacting Galveston Historical Foundation, 2016
Strand, Galveston, Texas 77550. To order by phone, call (409) 765-7834 or (713) 280-3907.
Straight from the pages of Oliver Twist the
Artful Dodger and his pickpocket companions.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990, periodical, Autumn 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45429/m1/6/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.