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The Recap: 20 Years!

Behold! The 20th Annual Dickens is a Fayetteville Favorite!

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County started A Dickens Holiday 20 years ago as a way to draw interest to the downtown merchants. Tourism and supporting small businesses remain the festival’s major goals, but the perfect shot of the Candlelight Procession’s 15,000 participants is an unrivaled reward.

“I’ve been attending for 20 years,” said LaRue Cook “This year I brought my friend from New York, she was surprised. Where else can you find hot mulled cider for $1 and gingerbread cookies for 50¢.” The nostalgic charm of A Dickens Holiday carried throughout Hay Street among vendors garbed in petticoats and ascots allowing the participant to be immersed into the Dickensian spirit.  A convenient 19th-century haberdashery shop peddled bowlers and top hats for immediate purchase to those that desire to dress the part.

The enthusiasm isn’t limited to return visitors; newcomers to Fayetteville were surprised at the magnitude of the crowd. But there was plenty for all. Father Christmas delighted small
children as parents captured the priceless moment with photographs. A Dickens Holiday also hosted a multitude of spirited fun with events such as the crowd favorite Community of Hope Gingerbread Competition, old fashioned carriage rides, an inflatable life-size snow globe, roaming carolers, and hundreds of Victorian dressed partakers sauntering through Fayetteville’s Cool Spring Downtown District.

The Arts Council was filled to the brim with onlookers watching caroling groups usher in the holiday spirit with riveting Christmas carols.  A glass harpist awed the crowd with holiday favorites.  The gallery was completely packed but silence fell upon the audience.  Onlookers followed the drama of the lower pitches as the musician brushed the rims of wine glasses filled with water allowing the melody to echo through the grand hall.

A serena
de to the Queen commenced the Grand Illusion. The Arts Council invited Fayetteville native Trent Holmes to perform “O Holy Night” sparking a joyously sing-a-long amongst the thousands of spectators.  Those that attended A Dickens Holiday will regale in a day of merriment and happiness that perfectly begins the holiday season.  “I loved adding the Christmas songs this year it made it feel more Christmas,” says LaRue Cook.  Larue is already looking forward to next year's A Dickens Holiday. We’re certain that’s a shared sentiment for families throughout Cumberland County.  Until next year Fayetteville, may Christmas be in your heart all year long. 

The Arts Council would like to take the time to thank all of our generous sponsors for their contribution to A Dickens Holiday.

Leading Partner

Major Sponsors

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Contributing Sponsors

Bragg Mutual FCU
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Year-long Partners