Join us in 2023 for Five Weekends Nov. 18 - Dec. 17, 10am - 6pm at the Historic Cow Palace!

Public Costume Policy

Costumes are Admired, but Never Required!

The Dickens Christmas Fair is a casual, family-oriented environment. We suggest you dress comfortably, wear good walking shoes, and check the local weather report to determine if coats and umbrellas will be needed for your walk from the parking lot. The entire Fair is indoors and there is a Cloak Check just inside the entrance to “London.” On sunny days it can get warm inside the Dickens Fair and you may wish to dress in layers that you can easily add or remove.

What is the best way to dress for a day at the Dickens Christmas Fair? Is there any clothing that isn’t permissible?

It is not necessary to come fully dressed in Victorian attire to enjoy the Dickens Christmas Fair. Adding one or two things to your regular wardrobe can go a long way to putting you in the mood!

  • Male Presenting: Wear a vest or waistcoat (pronounced “west-kit” in Victorian times), or add a pair of suspenders (or “bracers”) to your pants. A top hat or bowler is always a snazzy addition to any man’s wardrobe.
  • Female Presenting: A long skirt and blouse will begin to put you in the spirit of the era. Adding a bonnet or some sort of hair covering will reflect the “Victorian modesty” of the day and make you feel more at home in the bustling scene.
  • Children: Children’s fashions were often a reflection of what adults wore. For boys, a newsboy cap and a vest would be perfect! For girls, just adding a skirt or a flower decorated hat is a lovely touch.

Consider turning your cell phone off so that you can immerse yourself in the environment without distractions of the modern day.

“Okay” vs. “Not Okay”:

Ensuring that the Fair maintains a family-friendly environment is an important part of our theatrical time travel & holiday experience. In that spirit, we ask you to use your discretion and common sense. Attire that is not appropriate for a family event (and which may result in refusal of admittance) includes but is not limited to:

  • Clothing with objectionable material, including obscene language or graphics
  • Clothing which, by nature, exposes excessive portions of the skin that may be viewed as inappropriate for a family environment

We also ask that you not attend the event in costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of a central Dickensian character – especially Ebenezer Scrooge; the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present & Future; Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Father Christmas, or the American Santa Claus.

Guests may not wear full head masks (such as “Furries”) of any kind, or a full face mask unless it is transparent and used for a medical condition. Small Masquerade style masks are permitted, especially if part of a Victorian Ball costume or Evening attire. Medical face coverings used to fight COVID19 are encouraged, but not required.

Guests may not attend in costumes that are highly distracting from our Victorian theme. This is at management’s discretion and includes but is not limited to the following examples: Storm Troopers (Star Wars costumes in general), Superheros (such as Marvel Comics characters), Fantasy characters, (including Sorcerers, Krampus, and Monsters).

The entire Dickens Christmas Fair is a theatrical venue where our actors are maintaining a story line relating to the works of Charles Dickens and the London of the mid 1800s. Appearing in costumes not in keeping with the theme detracts from the authentically Victorian reality our performers work very hard to create.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Please peruse our very informative Victorian Costuming Guidelines to help you create a full or partial costume to enhance your experience at the Dickens Christmas Fair. Again, costumes are encouraged, but not required!

Happy Christmas!

“Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he’s well dressed.”

~ Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit

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