On Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, Historic Downtown Fayetteville will again be transformed into a unique and wonderful experience. So roll back the clock with us for the 19th annual A Dickens Holiday from 1 to 9 p.m.!
Horse-drawn carriages roll down Hay Street carrying shoppers the old-fashioned way, past merchants’ windows adorned with beautiful Victorian holiday decorations, past artisans and vendors of all sorts of delightful treats. Joyful children pose with Father Christmas for memory-laden pictures. The smells of cider and gingerbread permeate the chilly air. And there is Ebenezer Scrooge himself, pursued by the ghost of Jacob Marley.
As darkness approaches and the clock reaches 5 p.m., townspeople gather in front of the Arts Council for the candlelight procession to the Market House, followed by fireworks. After the fireworks, the festivities continue until 9 p.m.
Enjoy holiday performances by strolling performers throughout Downtown.
Annie’s Alehouse – Returning this year is “Annie’s Alehouse,” inside the Arts Council building, modeled on the old Victorian pubs. Indulge in beer, wine, and non-alcoholic cider, along with some pub-styled music in the gallery. The building is open from 1 to 9 p.m.
Gingerbread Community of Hope – Fayetteville Area Habitat for Humanity, along with H&H Homes, is presenting a Community of Hope – in the form of gingerbread! People from the community are invited to create buildings to be displayed at SkyView during A Dickens Holiday.
For entry forms or more information, click here.
Fascinator make-and-take – Create Victorian headpieces with Adrienne Trego of the Arts Council and a team of artists. A variety of design materials are supplied – free of charge – from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Rainbow Room, 223 Hay St. Let the feathers fly!
Preserve a lifetime memory with a picture of you and your loved ones with Father Christmas and an authentic Victorian sleigh at the Arts Council building (301 Hay St.). 1-8:30 p.m. Photo packages start at $6, and all proceeds support community arts programs.
Amazing holiday performances, along with an exhibition inside the Arts Council, which is transformed into “Annie’s Alehouse.” 1-9 p.m.
Dickens Carriage Rides – Enjoy the sights and sounds of a Dickens downtown on a big decorated horse-drawn hitch wagon. Only $10 for adults, $5 for children. Tickets on sale at 222 Hay St. beginning at noon on the day of the event. Come early – they sell out fast! 1-9 p.m.
Queen Victoria Carriage Rides – Enjoy a longer, more personal carriage tour from the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum (325 Franklin St.). Carriage reservations are strongly recommended. Tickets are $15 per adult; $10 per child, and can be purchased beforehand at 222 Hay St., or call 910-678-8899. 1-9 p.m.
This Victorian Life display on 2nd floor of the Market House from 1-9 p.m., sponsored by the Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum. Literature, military items, a Victorian Christmas tree and other artifacts show how the Victorians celebrated the holidays. An interactive display allows visitors to identify household items from Victorian times that are no longer in general use.
The Canterbury Victorian Dance Group are local women who are passionate about performing English country dancing in Victorian attire. Their performance pieces include the Rufty Tufty, Hearts Ease, and the Queen’s Waltz. They will also be engaging the crowds in learning how to do the Circle Waltz and the Halfe Hannikin. Break out your dancing shoes! The Canterbury Victorian Dance Group will perform at various times throughout the afternoon in the front hall of The Capitol Encore Academy, 126 Hay Street.
Candlelight Procession – Gather in front, or to the side, of the Arts Council for the 5:30 p.m. candlelight procession to the Market House. Pick up a free candle at selected merchants, or in front of the Arts Council building (while supplies last). Join thousands of townspeople for Fayetteville’s largest candlelight procession to the Market House, followed by fireworks! Stay for a full night of fun after kicking off the holiday season with a traditional fireworks display. Carriage rides, crafts, holiday shopping and more continue until 9 p.m.
“Dickens After Dark” is in full swing until 9 p.m. at Annie’s Alehouse in the Arts Center. Enjoy lively music by four-man acoustic Celtic group Barrowburn from 6:15 to 9 p.m, plus craft beers, wines or hot cider, along with gingerbread cookies.
Other Holiday Happenings: Create a Victorian ornament to take home or hang on the community tree from 1 to dusk at Fascinate-U Children’s Museum ($2 per child, $1 per adult). Enjoy TubaChristmas in the sanctuary at Hay Street United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. Take a free tour of the 1897 Poe House, decorated in Victorian style, at the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
You can become a part of A Dickens Holiday by strolling the streets as a Victorian lady or gentleman with an easy-to-make costume. Just click here for quick notes on costuming.
Find out how to dress, Dickens style.