(Fayetteville, NC) November 16, 2018 — An annual tradition since 2000, A Dickens Holiday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, on Friday, Nov. 23, from 1 to 9 p.m., downtown Fayetteville will be transformed into a magical Victorian village – with all the sights, sounds and smells to kick-off the holidays in grand style. (Hot apple cider and gingerbread cookies, anyone?)
Many of the merchants and arts and crafts vendors will be decked out in Victorian costumes – and attendees are encouraged to do so, too. Dickens really is the ultimate shop local experience, but with some wonderful twists.A sampling of highlights:
- Annie’s Alehouse returns this year in the Arts Center, home of the Arts Council, at 301 Hay St. Modeled after an old Victorian pub, Annie’s is the place to purchase and enjoy a variety of wines, craft beers, apple cider and other beverages. Live performances also are part of the merriment.
- Father Christmas photos. We’ve heard tales of young adults who have had photos taken with Father Christmas in an antique sleigh every year, starting from the time they were babies or tots. The photo-taking area is in front of the Arts Center. Photo packages start at $6, and all proceeds support community arts programs.
- Horse-drawn carriage rides enhance the Dickens ambiance. Get tickets for a ride in Ye Dickens Wagon at 222 Hay St., beginning at noon; $10 for adults and $5 for children. The fancier Queen Victoria Carriage departs from the Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum, 325 Franklin St.
Carriage reservations are strongly recommended. Tickets are $15 per adult; $10 per child, and can be purchased beforehand at 222 Hay St., or call 910-678-8899.
- “Gingerbread Community of Hope,” presented by H&H Homes with Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity, is a creative selection of gingerbread houses at SkyView, 121 Hay St. If you’d like to make a gingerbread house, school, place of worship or other building, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-483-0952. Applications also can be picked up at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 3833 Bragg Blvd. The deadline is Nov. 16. A $250 prize goes to the winner, voted on by the crowds.
- Fascinator make-and-take. Create Victorian headpieces with Adrienne Trego of the Arts Council and a team of artists. A variety of design materials are supplied – free of charge – from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Rainbow Room, 223 Hay St. Let the feathers fly!
- “This Victorian Life,” a thoughtful display of period holiday items and other artifacts, returns to the second floor of the Market House, thanks to the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum.
- The Candlelight Procession begins as darkness falls … and it’s magical. The candles in holders are distributed by Boy Scouts and other volunteers starting at 4:00 p.m., as thousands fill Hay Street. Watch the heartfelt sharing of fire among the folks, as a single flame gets passed along, intensifying the glow. As the people hold the lit candles, holiday music plays, carolers sing, and proclamations are made. Then, to the wonder of all, the light switch is flipped on the Christmas tree under the Market House. And, finally …
- Fireworks over the Market House always delight the crowds after the lighting of the Christmas tree, but the night isn’t over yet.
- “Dickens After Dark” is in full swing until 9 p.m. at Annie’s Alehouse in the Arts Center. Enjoy lively music by four-man acoustic Celtic group Barrowburn from 6:15 to 9 p.m, plus craft beers, wines or hot cider, along with gingerbread cookies.
(Note: the cider and cookies also are sold in the 100 and 300 blocks of Hay Street.)
A Dickens Holiday harkens back to simpler times when we were not so defined by what we have, but what we have to give. It is nostalgia and making wonderful memories, all wrapped up with an imaginary bow. And a large dose of hometown pride. Come on out to downtown Fayetteville the day after Thanksgiving!
Produced by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, A Dickens Holiday is made possible because of the generosity of a number of organizations and individuals.
Ramsey Commons, Inc., Valley Radiology,
ABOUT THE ARTS COUNCIL
The Arts Council of Fayetteville | Cumberland County was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the nonprofit agency administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts. The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.
The Arts Council’s grants, programs and services are funded in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.