The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party
2020 Season Postponed Join Us in 2021 at the Historic Cow Palace!
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party

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In lieu of gathering in person this year, we invite you to enjoy the simple pleasures of "Dickens Fair at Home" as our holiday gift to you - see below!

All content will remain available through January 31st, 2021.
  • Invoke the spirits of Christmas Past and Christmas Present with "A Christmas Carol" read by Mr. Dickens himself.
  • Gather to sing in the parlour, or dance in the kitchen! Find favorite Fair music, videos, and the one and only Coventry Carolers in spirited song!
  • Discover delicious recipes from merry old England and serve up holiday favorites with Dickensian flair!
  • Entice your creative spirit (and young hearts) to make playful holiday gifts with instruction from Fair artists.

And we invite you to…

  • Shop online for hand crafted gifts to delight both family and friends...and to help our artist community by purchasing from a crafts community that is struggling through the cancellation of a year's worth of events.

Peruse the schedule below to plan for your fun!

Weekend 1 - The Grand Concourse

Begin your holiday season with this selection of Dickensian Delights...

Robert Oval Portrait DFH

A warm holiday welcome from our namesake, the illustrious author Mr. Charles Dickens
Pavliger Queen 2018 DFH
Her Majesty Queen Victoria's annual Christmas Message to Her Royal Subjects
“A Christmas Carol, in Prose: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas” with illustrations by John Leech

A beloved part of the literary canon – and for many an indispensable part of the holiday season, this tale embodies the goodwill associated with the Christmas season – and the Victorians’ favorite elements of a good Christmas story: ghosts!

"A Christmas Carol," Part One - a Reading by Charles Dickens

Over the course of our five weekends and on Christmas Eve, Mr. Dickens has agreed to read his tale in its entirety! As was the custom of the day, his oration will be serialized. Gather 'round on this, our first weekend's installment.

The Coventry Carolers sing "Carol of the Bells"

Led by maestro Bob Crabb, the Coventry Carolers invite you into the holiday season with a lovely rendition of this English classic.

"Carol of the Bells" Sheet Music download

Join in the merriment and sing along with the Coventry Carolers from the comfort of your own parlour!

Bangers & Mash Band play "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"

Dance along in triple time to this mainstay of Mr. Fezziwig's Christmas party in the warehouse.

Cinnamon Almonds Recipe

Recreate this Dickens Fair favorite - crunchy, sweet, and fragrant Cinnamon Almonds.

'What to Look For in Antique Books'

A most rewarding and genteel of endeavours, absorb these tips from antiquarian Gerald Webb, Proprietor of the Fitz-Gerald Manor Shop.

Artist Jordan Monsell Demonstrates how to Cut a Silhouette Portrait

Have paper and scissors? Study a master of this charming Victorian art form, then try your own hand at capturing a loved one’s profile.

Traditional Egg Nog Recipe

Frothy and smooth, this no-cook eggnog is delicious with or without brandy and rum.

A gift of Zoom backgrounds to use and share!

Enliven your video gatherings with a virtual background from within the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

Weekend 2 - Petticoat Lane

Discover fine foods, delightful music, and timeless crafts…

Nana's Nursery demonstrates “How to Make a Pomander”

Create a keepsake of sweet-smelling herbs and spices to place in a closet, drawer, or room to perfume the air.

"A Christmas Carol," Part Two - a Reading by Charles Dickens

Delight in the second installment of Charles Dickens’ timeless holiday tale read by the author himself.

Glenn Morgan Plays the Hammer Dulcimer

Marvelous and timeless acoustic music from the streets of the Fair.

"Building the Great Dickens Christmas Fair"

Join us as we draw back the curtain for an insider's look at how we build our Londontown each year.

A Recipe for Hard Sauce to accompany your holiday Rum Cake

A traditional topping and the crowning glory to Christmas plum pudding, rum cake or gingerbread.

Grace Morgan of Dancing Flame Candles Demonstrates "Candle Dipping & Carving"

See how multicolored, multilayered carved candles are made.

A History of Wheat Weaving

Fifth generation Welsh Wheat-Weaver and Fair artist for many years, Morgyn Owens-Celli shares some lore about this ancient, traditional art form.

 Visit the new Dickens Fair Souvenir Shop!

Weekend 3 - Tinsley Green

Find holiday wonders for the wee ones, and all those still children at heart...

Punch & Judy - Oh, Yes it Is!

Laugh, call, and respond to the antics of Mr. Punch and Judy in this traditional British-style puppet show.

"A Christmas Carol," Part Three - a Reading by Charles Dickens

Mr. Dickens continues reading his fantastical yarn of ghostly encounters, redemption and goodwill.

Bramble Jam Tales - Holly and Ivy

On long winter nights or early crisp mornings, share wee little tales for wee little friends.

Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe

A perennial favorite, the crackled cinnamon-sugar topping makes these a perfect accompaniment to a cuppa!

Nana's Nursery - Victorian Toys

Kaleidoscopes, Thaumatropes, and Phenakistoscopes, oh my!

Rebecca Love Painting Garden Craft Project

Get a peek at a charming craft kit that you can order and create at home!

A Story of St. Nicholas Day

My mother made a fire, lit candles and announced that a very special guest was coming...

Our Victorian Christmas Traditions

Why do we bring trees into our parlours?

Weekend 4 - Mad Sals Dockside Alehouse

Enjoy salty and sassy fun from the ‘lower side' of London…

Holiday Wishes from Can-Can Bijou

The high-kicking ladies of the Can-Can Bijou send you their best holiday wishes.

"A Christmas Carol," Part Four - a Reading by Charles Dickens

Mr. Dickens continues his winter tale in this fourth installment.

Mad Sal's Dockside Music Hall 'Oliday Hextravaganza!

Clap, stomp and sing along with salacious Sal and her mates in this full-length show.

How to Roast Chestnuts at Home

Surprisingly, these delectable treats need not be roasted on an open fire...

The Seadogs of Paddy West School of Seamanship Sing "Haul, Boys, Haul"

Tap your toes and drop your aitches as these salty sailors sing a tantalizing tale of life on the High Seas!

Paddy West's Congress of Wonders and Atrocities

Step right up to the worst sideshow in all of London!

Edgar Allen Poe reads "The Raven"

Mr. Poe performs his epic poem of the mysterious and macabre to a spellbound audience in the Adventurers' Club.

Edgar Allen Poe Reads "The Telltale Heart"

Not for the timid of heart, the narrator of this dark tale endeavors to convince the listener of the narrator's sanity as he describes a shocking crime...

Edgar Allen Poe Reluctantly Performs The Zucchini Song

Lighter and lascivious fare from our much put-upon gloomy resident poet.

 
A special present from Dark Garden Corsetry...

Enjoy the tight-laced transformations of stylishly satisfied customers from the finest corsetry shop in London.

Weekend 5 - Cratchits Yard

The holiday is nearly here! Cut out and assemble a Dickens Fair diorama, and laugh at the antics of Jim Chiminey! Even more wonders await...

Nana's Nursery - Making Christmas Crackers

The children of Nana's Nursery show you how to create these festive table decorations filled with trinkets, toys - and sometimes jokes or puns.

"A Christmas Carol," Part Five - a Reading by Charles Dickens

Be moved to tears - or to action - as Mr. Dickens reads Part Five of his ghostly novella.

Jim Chiminey and the Time Machine

Guffaw at the antics of London's most hilariously silly chimney sweep.

St. Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe Scone Recipe

Delightfully rich and flaky - a highly guarded secret until now!

Make Your Own Dickens Fair Diorama

Created by artist extraordinaire Don Carson, this whimsical three-dimensional diorama of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a special gift for you to print, cut out, and assemble at home.

Jim Chiminey and the Pick Pocket

What will happen when a pick-pocket attempts quick-fingered shenanigans with Jim? Watch and see...

"Why We Do This"

Explore behind the scenes at the Dickens Fair through the heartfelt stories of artists, actors and staff who breathe life into the world we create together!

The 1973 Dickens Christmas Fair: A Sound Journey

Visit the bustling streets and lively stages of the Dickens Christmas Fair circa 1973 with this audiovisual montage.

The Brunos play music at the Mermaid Inn

It’s a bit dark and shaky, like that side of town, but close your eyes and be transported to the Mermaid Inn for a musical holiday evening in Victorian London…

Ambience/ASMR Video: Victorian Christmas Parlour at Night

Be transported to a warm and cozy British parlour at Christmas-time complete with a crackling fire and candlelight. Created by Ambience of Yesteryear.

Christmas Eve - Fezziwigs Warehouse

Recall the legendary hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig’s as you create your own holiday party!

Nana's Nursery - Christmas Eve

Decorating the indoor Christmas tree, a custom introduced to Britain in 1844.

"A Christmas Carol" - Complete Reading by Charles Dickens

Grab a hot cuppa and settle in as Charles Dickens reads his timeless holiday story to you in its entirety, from beginning to end.

Victorian Christmas Cards

The Victorians invented Christmas cards in 1843. Here is a gallery show of some of the earliest and most beautiful cards.

Father Christmas Reads Children's Wishes and "The Night Before Christmas"

Sitting at home by a crackling fire, the old elf reads the classic poem, as well as a few choice letters...

Tavistock House and Bread and Butter Pudding

Learn about the London home of Mr. Charles Dickens and his family, and how to make delicious Bread and Butter Pudding from Mrs. Dickens' own family recipe.

Victorian Parlour Games to play

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair all started with a holiday party... learn how to play these classic Victorian games in your own parlour!

The Hallejujah Chorus with the Fezziwig's Family

Join in good company and sing along with the Fezziwigs family and friends in this rousing and uplifting holiday classic!

Mr. Dickens' Farewell

Mr. Dickens thanks you for joining us to celebrate Dickens Fair at Home.
 

From our parlour to yours, with warmest compliments of the Season!

Many thanks to you and to all those who love (and miss) the Great Dickens Christmas Fair! We have received many words of appreciation for creating Dickens Fair at Home as a way to both enjoy a bit of holiday fun, and celebrate our shared love of the Fair and the Season! We are gratified by the warm response as well as your support of our artist community, and we look forward to gathering again in person in 2021! It you wish to make a donation to our Covid relief fund, click here
We also wish to acknowledge the Dickens Fair at Home Creative Team who conceived, created and coordinated this inspired and inspiring holiday gift!
If you wish to thank them directly and perhaps share how Dickens Fair at Home has helped bring the warmth of holiday spirit into your home this season, you can reach us via [email protected]
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