The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party

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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Returns in 2022!

What: The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a one-of-a-kind immersive adventure into Victorian London ~  an elaborate holiday party with hundreds of costumed players performing and interacting with patrons in over 140,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors, and festive shops. It's a twilight evening in Charles Dickens' London Town - a city of winding lanes filled with colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamplit shops are filled to overflowing with handmade gifts. The Dickens Christmas Fair is a treasured Bay Area tradition since 1970 and a splendid way to celebrate the holidays.
Where: Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City
When:

Join us in 2022 for Five Weekends including the Friday after Thanksgiving: November 19/20, 25/26/27; Dec. 3/4, 10/11, 17/18, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Who:

Brought to you by Red Barn Productions and the Patterson Family, who created and directed the popular Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Black Point in Marin for 25 years. The Fair partners with and supports several nonprofits dedicated to perpetuating the arts through living history.

Ticket Prices:
Tickets, including for groups, go on sale after Labor Day weekend. Please be sure you are on our email list for early notification and promotions.
Parking:

To park, all vehicles including handicapped, use the main Cow Palace entrance at 2600 Geneva Ave., and park as directed. Parking fees are charged at the entrance to the lot by the Cow Palace. Parking is $15.00 per vehicle (no in & out privileges). Cow Palace parking attendants will accept both cash and credit card.

Public Transport:

Ride BART to London! Take BART or Muni to the Fair. Check back when tickets go on sale after Labor day for details.

Accessibility & Parking Shuttle:

The Fair is handicapped-accessible. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair strives to be welcoming and accessible to everyone, including individuals with special needs and disabilities. Please see our FAQ page for more information, including how to request special accommodations.

Wheelchairs are available for rental at the Cloak Check inside the Fair for $15 for a half-day rental and $30 for a full-day rental, on a first-come, first-served basis.

There is a free wheelchair-accessible shuttle from the main Cow Palace parking lot which makes multiple stops including the Handicap parking area. Parking Shuttles make constant loops during event hours and drop off and pick up at the entrance to the Fair. Due to new security procedures, you may no longer drop off your party at the Fair entrance on the lower level. Please inquire with any parking attendant about the free shuttle.

ASL interpretationDuring the Fair, certain shows will will be signed for the hearing impaired. Please look for this symbol in the Fair program handout and in the show schedule on this website after the opening day.

Costumes: Victorian costumes are encouraged but certainly not required for our patrons. Please feel free to 'come as you are' to enjoy your adventure into Dickens' London. The Victorian Costume Guidelines provided on this website are primarily intended for Participants (performers & vendors) of the event.  If you are a guest, please enjoy the costume information on this site as a resource to help you get into the spirit and play along at any level you wish.  Even a hat or bonnet will make you feel like you are stepping back in time with us! Special note: please do not come dressed as Father Christmas, Ebeneezer Scrooge, or other principal characters from Dickens' works. Please see our public costume policy for more information.

Entertainment: Continuous performances on multiple stages and in the streets feature lively and colorful characters from Dickens' London. Enjoy holiday games and festive dance in Fezziwig's Warehouse, boisterous music hall offerings in Mad Sal's Dockside Alehouse, and the engaging antics and adventures of such characters as London's chimney sweeps, Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and a rollicking cast of other colorful characters.

Especially For Children: Punch and Judy puppet shows, Victorian fairies, Father Christmas, and interactive theatrical performances; games and hands-on holiday activities; Victorian arts and crafts.

Food & Drink: Gourmet chefs offer delicious foods from around the world, including English bangers and fish 'n' chips, exotic Greek delicacies, French onion soup, and enticing desserts. Five authentic pubs offer Craft Ales from local breweries to satisfy the heartiest thirst. A selection of fine wines and champagne is available by the glass.

Shopping: Visit the shops of London to find one-of-a-kind treasures, Victorian reproductions, fine art, romantic clothing, glittering pewter, and dazzling jewelry. Complete your holiday shopping or discover the perfect something for a loved one. Shopkeepers will welcome you, share a story or two, and send you on your way (hopefully laden with packages) with a hearty "Happy Christmas!"

Prepare for the Fair: Get into the spirit of the holidays with our recommendations for movie classics, books, and videos.

Social Justice: For information on our diversity, equity and inclusion plans, and our ongoing social justice efforts, please visit Red Barn Productions Community Page here.

Land Acknowledgement: As Red Barn Productions welcomes participants and audience members to The Great Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace in Daly City, we wish to acknowledge that this property sits on the unceded homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone people and is the ancestral territory of the Miwok, Yokuts, and Patwin, as well as other Ohlone peoples. It is Red Barn’s intention that in gathering together to create an immersive, entertaining and educational fair, all who gather here are doing so with respect and recognition of Indigenous people and First Nation members and elders, and of all the Native peoples for whom the greater Bay Area is their ancestral home.

Re-Entry: Visitors to the fair may leave and re-enter by receiving a hand stamp upon exit.

Pets: Except for trained and registered service animals, the Dickens Christmas Fair does not allow pets inside the venue.

Smoking: The Cow Palace is a non-smoking facility. A smoking tent is provided outside near the entrance.

Lodging: For those of you traveling to the Fair, please visit our preferred hotels & accommodations page.

Support the Cow Palace:  The Cow Palace is a valuable community and cultural asset for the Bay Area and the State. It is also essential to the quality presentation of The Dickens Christmas Fair with its Historic Exhibition Halls reminiscent of Covent Garden in London. Don't miss the return of the Grand National Rodeo on October 7 & 8, 2022! Show your support by attending the Rodeo and other great shows at the Cow Palace, such as the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show, and join http://www.cowpalace.com for email updates of all Cow Palace events. 

How to Reach Us:

Red Barn Productions
PO Box 1768, Novato CA 94948
Toll free (800) 510-1558 . Fax (415) 532-1888
Email: [email protected]