The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party - 35th Season

Banner-Vendors and Performers

Interested in working at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair?

Attend Workshops: If you want to work in one of the many shops inside the Fair, we highly recommend you first attend our pre-fair workshops to pick up basic skills in  Victorian-era language, meeting & greeting in character, and to get costuming ideas. These classes will help you get comfortable with the feel of the 1840s-1860s, the Victorian era we are portraying.

  • 2017 Workshops will be held at Oceana High School in Pacifica on October 28th and 29th, and November 4th and 5th from 10:00AM to 5:00PM. For more information, please see the Performing at the Fair page.
  • To receive timely updates on workshops, go to Cat's Performer Missives Page and use the link to join the Missive List. You will receive regular (about once a week) email missives informing you about workshops and other useful information.
  • Workshops are not required for booth workers, but are highly suggested.

Speak to Booth Owners: At the Cow Palace on November 4th, 5th, 11th, and 12th, you can walk around and speak directly to the shop owners and tell them you are interested in applying for a job.
 
Check the Job Board at the Cow Palace: You can also check the job board in the Green Room/Production Bay at the Cow Palace for any "Help Wanted" notices.

Get Your Gate Pass: After you have been hired by a booth owner, you will need to get your Gate Pass by:

  • Having the booth owner list you as a worker in their booth on the list in the Pass House Merchants book.
  • Completing a participant/worker registration form (most booth workers do this at the Pass House). Please note that if you are under 18, your guardian will also need to sign the registration form.
  • Obtaining Costume Approval from the official costume department.

Discount Parking Passes Available: The Cow Palace offers run-of-fair Participant Parking Passes at a discounted rate of $30; these will be available at workshops.  If you do not have a parking pass, the Cow Palace parking staff will charge you $12.00 per day.

Costuming for Booth Workers

Costume Approval is mandatory for all booth workers. We strongly encourage that booth workers obtain Costume Approval during the workshop weekends, to avoid long lines and delays on opening day.

To get started on your costume, we suggest you peruse our extensive Participant Costume Guidelines. Below are additional considerations for booth workers:

Catering Booth Costume Guidelines

KITCHEN – For BOTH men & women
Due to open flames that may be in some catering booth kitchens, we suggest the following for comfort and safety:

  • White chef’s jacket with black pants Or
  • Long-sleeved shirt with no collar or turned up collar with cravat
  • Colors: White, cream, plaid (muted tones; browns, blues, rusts, greens)
  • Can also be a smock in white, cream, or light blue
  • Waistcoat or vest: Can have a collar or not, no points in the front (straight across), single or double breasted, should button fairly high on the chest, does not generally match either the pants or the jacket – plaids, brocades & stripes are wonderful. There should be no shirt showing between the bottom of the vest and your pants!
  • Half-apron: White
  • Pants: Natural-waisted is preferred (high-waisted by today’s standards), wool, heavy cotton, or corduroy, either plaid or plain, suspenders – no belt. Pant legs should be tapered in and have no cuffs.
  • Closed-toe shoes with socks.
  • The Health Dept. mandates additional hair coverings.

FRONT COUNTER – Women

  • Plain blouse: White, blue, brown; long-sleeved, Peter Pan collar or no collar, no ruffles down the front or lace yokes
  • Bibbed apron: Plain with no ruffles
  • Skirts: Long, full at the waist as well as the hem (no A-lines); cotton would be best since it is washable
  • Zouave, bolero, or women’s suit-style jacket (can be short-sleeved with blouse underneath), in jewel-toned or dark colors: Red, burgundy, gold, green, blue, rust, brown

Or

  • Dress: Fabric in both the bodice and skirt match, long sleeves or mid-arm length with white undersleeves, no zippers
  • Petticoat that gives some fullness – hoops not suggested
  • Head: Either a mob cap or a day cap (lace and ribboned)
  • Hair: Up off the shoulders, neatly braided or coifed: preferably with a center part. Additional hairpieces are good for women with short modern hairstyles.

FRONT COUNTER – Men

  • Long-sleeved shirt with no collar or turned-up collar with cravat
  • Colors: White, cream, plaid (muted tones; browns, blues, rusts, greens)
  • Can also be a smock in white, cream or light blue
  • Waistcoat or vest: Can have a collar or not, no points in the front (straight across), single or double breasted, should button fairly high on the chest, does not generally match either the pants or the jacket – plaids, brocades & stripes are wonderful. There should be no shirt showing between the bottom of the vest and your pants!
  • Half-apron: White
  • Pants: Natural-waisted is preferred (high-waisted by today’s standards), wool, heavy cotton, or corduroy, either plaid or plain, suspenders – no belt. Pant legs should be tapered in, with no cuffs.
  • Jacket: There are many modern jackets that will work for a Dickens jacket. They should be single-breasted, not double; dark colored – either a plaid or all one color; 4-button if possible (these can be converted easily); does not have to match the pants or waistcoat.
  • Hat: Bowler, brimmed cap (think newspaper boy style)
  • Hair: ANY unnatural colors should be hidden. Long hair should be braided neatly and up.
 Shop Worker Costume Guidelines

WOMEN

  • Plain blouse: White, long sleeved, with Peter Pan collar or no collar. No ruffles down the front or lace yokes.
  • Bibbed apron: Plain, no ruffles (not mandatory but gives a nice, neat look)
  • Skirts: Long, full at the waist as well as the hem (no A-lines), in cotton or wool.
  • Zouave, bolero, or women’s suit-style jacket (can be short-sleeved with blouse underneath), in jewel-toned or dark colors: Red, burgundy, gold, green, blue, rust, brown.

Or

  • Dress: Fabric in the bodice and skirt match, long sleeves or mid-arm length with white undersleeves, no zippers.
  • Petticoat that gives fullness – small hoops (90”or less in bottom hoop) or corded petticoats.
  • Head: Either a mob cap or a day cap (lace and ribboned).
  • Hair is up off the shoulders, neatly braided or coifed: preferably with a center part. Additional hairpieces are good for women with short modern hairstyles.

MEN

  • Long-sleeved shirt, turned up collar with cravat
  • Colors: White
  • Waistcoat or vest: Can have a collar or not, no points in the front (straight across), single or double breasted, should button fairly high on the chest, does not generally match either the pants or the jacket – plaids, brocades & stripes are wonderful. There should be no shirt showing between the bottom of the vest and your pants!
  • Pants: Natural-waisted is preferred (high-waisted by today’s standards), wool, heavy cotton, or corduroy, either plaid or plain, suspenders – no belt. Pant legs should be tapered in, with no cuffs.
  • Jacket: There are many modern jackets that will work for a Dickens jacket. They should be single breasted, not double; dark colored – either a plaid or all one color; 4-button if possible (these can be converted easily); do not have to match the pants or waistcoat; or, a tail or frock coat.
  • Hat: Bowler, brimmed cap (think newspaper boy style), topper.

For further details on costuming, including links to online suppliers, please see the Participant Costume Guidelines.