Celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens

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Festivals & Outdoor

The life and work of Dickens is regularly celebrated in festivals and outdoor activities around the world. In 2012, Dickens-themed activities are expected to bring together millions of people worldwide with new events and special editions of key annual festivals being staged to mark the bicentenary. In addition, the year of the bicentenary will see new long-lasting commemorative initiatives including exciting legacy projects and heritage trails.

Come into the Parlour

An evening of Victorian songs to celebrate Charles Dickens's birthday, sung by the baritones Donald Maxwell and Marcus Farnsworth.

The 34th Annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, an annual tradition in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1970, transports visitors to an iconic Victorian holiday.

Coming up

Dickens Community Archive Project

Portsmouth (UK)

Engaging people with city's archives to explore some of the issues that Dickens addressed through his novels, this project in the town of Dickens’s birth will culminate in an exhibition at the City Museum alongside Dickens's original manuscripts.

New Memorial in Southwark

Southwark, London (UK)

Dickens in the Borough is a new collective including Southwark Council, in partnership with local residents and voluntary groups. Dickens in the Borough has started a fundraising appeal to create a monument to Charles Dickens’s literary works. The monument will celebrate key characters, themes, or texts, from ‘Little Dorrit’, ‘David Copperfield’ and other works that reference the local area, which Dickens new well in his boyhood. The collective will announce a competition for local artists to design the monument and the artwork will be installed in the new plaza adjoining Little Dorrit Church during 2012.

Grassington Dickensian Festival 2012

3 Saturdays in December each year

Grassington is holding its 31st annual Dickensian Christmas Festival to celebrate Dickens' bicentenary around its legendary cobbled square. Step back in time to an era when Dickens was alive. Street entertainment, buskers, shoe-shine boys, chestnut sellers, santa's grotto, pickpockets, living statues, traditional Christmas outdoor market, indoor craft fair plus lots more. A family fun day out. Staged on the three Saturdays in December - 1st, 8th and 15th from 10am until 5pm. Free event with park and ride facilities.

Dickens Book Festival

December 2012
Château D’Hardelot, Pas-de-Calais (France)

Details to be added soon

" A Dickens of a Tour: Charles Dickens in Washington"

December 2012
Tour starts at Cosi, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC

! Walk through time with us and see the city of Washington as you’ve never seen it ... through anecdotes and scenes! These outdoor performances combine history and theater in an exciting way. All shows are accessible and interactive. This is our 12th year celebrating Charles Dickens visits to Washington in the 19th century. On this unusual stroll we’ll tell you about his visits, what he said and where he ate and what our city was like during the periods when he stayed here. All this and we’ll learn how to celebrate a Victorian style Christmas. Whilst you hear the tales of his visits, watch our actors perform a special adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” outdoors! This tour ends conveniently, in Downtown, near restaurants and shopping. The shows are reasonably priced with tickets for adults at $12 and $6 for those under age 16 (babes in strollers or carriers are free). Information is available through the website at www.historicstrolls.com or 301-588-9255 (tour line) Private tours can also be scheduled for any number of guests at this number. 301-588-9255 The dates for the Dickens Tours.. A Dickens of a Tour: Charles Dickens in Washington” Show dates: Saturday, December 15th, 22nd and Sunday, December 23rd at 12 noon. Tickets: $12 adults, $6 under 16. Military id is half price and tour is accessible. This outdoor production is 85 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the tour guide or in advance at www.historicstrolls.com. Meets at 10th and E NW at Cosi. (1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW) Call 301-588-9255 for info or mail@historicstrolls.com, www.historicstrolls.com for details and our other tours. A brief description of the merriment.. “A Dickens of a Tour: Charles Dickens in Washington” This brilliant writer paid two visits to the Nation’s Capital and his reviews of the two stays couldn’t have differed more! Shortly after his first visit, he penned “A Christmas Carol”. Is it possible that he created Mr. Scrooge after meeting a Citizen of old Washington City? And, did his understanding and appreciation of Judaism change after his stay with a Washington family? Ponder that thought as you walk in his footsteps. You’ll also witness scenes from his classic Holiday tale performed where he stood over 160 years ago. Done in a quick change style, this “Carol” is our own adaptation from Dickens original classic Holiday tale.

Tour of Dickens London locations by Sandra Shevey

Every Sunday in 2012
London, UK

The good/bad world of Charles Dickens comes under the scrutiny of Sandra Shevey who takes you on a 3-hour walk around London destinations featured in the novels and films. Shevey discusses adaptations and how far they diverge from Dickens's personal credo. Tours (£25 + VAT) take place every Sunday from January 2012 and start at 11am. To find out more, please contact: sandra_shevey@yahoo.com

South East Tour of Dickens

From December 2011 until December 2012
Kent, UK

Plan your private tour through the countryside of Kent that Dickens knew so well and where he gained much of his inspiration. Tread in the footsteps of Dickens through the ancient city of Rochester, see Gads Hill the house he aspired to for so long, take a trip on the River Medway and visit Chatham Dockyard that so fascinated Dickens. Visit the churchyard where the gravestones of Pip’s little brothers and sisters lie. Drive though the evocative Kent marshes and take lunch in one of Dickens’s favourite pubs. Share Dickens’s enthusiasm for the great British seaside by visiting Broadstairs and Margate. We specialise in touring the area so that you can ‘live the books’ of Dickens. Organised by South East Tour Guides.

Dickens Christmas

Held Saturdays and Sundays, Nov 25 through Dec. 24
Skaneateles, New York

Families looking for a storybook Christmas celebration will delight in Dickens Christmas, held every weekend in picturesque Skaneateles in the Finger Lakes region of Central New York.
Celebrating its 19th year, the festival takes visitors back to 1842 as Charles Dickens is gathering research for his soon-to-be-written classic, "A Christmas Carol." He and Queen Victoria journey to Skaneateles, where they meet such villagers as Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Fagin, Jacob Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Highlights include The World's Smallest Christmas Parade, Christmas carol sing-alongs (with awards for the most spirited!), street performances of "A Christmas Carol," horse-drawn wagon rides and free refreshments. Held Saturdays and Sundays, Nov 25 through Dec. 24. For more information please visit www.skaneateles.com.

Dickens on The Strand

Held yearly, the first weekend in December.
Downtown Strand Historical District

Galveston Island once again transforms into 19th century Victorian London this December 1 and 2 for the 39th Annual Dickens on The Strand Festival. This year's event runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 7-12 and can be bought online at www.dickensonthestrand.org. Tickets purchased at the gate are $14 for adults and $8 for children. Attendees in Victorian costume are admitted for ½ price.

Galveston’s Dickens on The Strand, an annual holiday street festival based on 19th-century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on five stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. Costumed vendors will peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gift items.

The 2012 Dickens on The Strand also features kid friendly options such as Picadilly Circus, a children's playground with elephant and camel rides and a petting zoo; Artful Dodger Lane, where art students create a chalk London on Galveston’s streets; and a true island rarity, snow, in the snowyard.

A Charles Dickens Christmas Festival - Southport, NC

November 30 and December 1, 2012
Southport, NC

The CHARLES DICKENS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL event will take place on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, 2012, in the city of Southport, NC. The purpose of the CHARLES DICKENS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL is to promote arts and culture; attract customers to local businesses and arts venues; and to create community goodwill while partnering with Brunswick County art organizations.

A variety of different events will be held in the two days, including: a kick-off parade, a Christmas tree lighting, band and choir concerts, costume contests, literary readings, performances by the Winding River Players, the Ocean Ridge Singers, etc. The plays “What the Dickens” and “The First Noelle” will also be performed. Many merchants in Southport will be decorating their shops and dressing in period style.

Advanced tickets will be on sale at various locations, including the Southport/ Oak Island Chamber of Commerce, as well as at the BAC website, www.brunswickartscouncil.org.

Tickets will sell for $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 7-12, and free for children 6 and under. Groups of 20 or more will receive a 5% discount.

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