Dickens on The Strand: World-Famous Victorian Holiday Festival to Take Place in Galveston This Weekend

Festival Transforms Historic Downtown Galveston into Victorian London of Charles Dickens

The world-famous Dickens on The Strand festival returns to Galveston this weekend, transforming the island’s historic Strand into the Victorian London of Charles Dickens. The popular street festival, put on by Galveston Historical Foundation, kicks off on Friday and will continue through Sunday with a full lineup of special events, parades and live entertainment, plus special appearances from a descendant of Charles Dickens.

Visitors to Dickens on The Strand can experience an enchanted journey back in time to 19th century London as characters from Dickens novels walk the streets and costumed vendors peddle their wares from street stalls and rolling carts laden with holiday food and drink, Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gifts. Strolling carolers and roving musicians will fill the area with enchanting sounds from another era.

Here’s what visitors to the festival can expect:

Friday, Dec. 3

Hours: 5-9 p.m.

Admission: Free

On Friday night, guests are invited to kick off the festival at Fezziwig’s Beer Hall, located on 22nd St. between Strand Street and Ship Mechanic’s Row. Here, a jovial atmosphere guests will enjoy live entertainment, a reading from Charles Dickens, plus hearty beers and plenty of toasting.

Saturday, Dec. 4

Hours: 10 a.m.– 9 p.m.

Admission: $20 for adults, $14 for youth (Attendees in costume will receive half-price admission)

Entertainers and vendors line the Strand Historic District on Saturday. Hear choirs and see circus performances throughout the day. Charles Dickens’ great-great grandson, Oliver will perform a special reading at 11:30 a.m. at 23rd and Strand Street. The highly anticipated Queen’s Parade will roll through town at 2 p.m. and the Pickwick’s Lanternlight Parade will illuminate the area at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 5

Hours: 12-6 p.m.

Admission: $20 for adults, $14 for youth (Attendees in costume will receive half-price admission)

The Dickens Dash takes place on Sunday morning. Participants will get into the festival grounds at 10 a.m., before the general public. The course is a half-mile dash through the downtown area. Entertainment includes a reading from Oliver Dickens at 1 p.m. at 21st and Strand Street. The Queen’s Parade takes place at 2 p.m. and competitors in the Victorian Bed Races square off at 4:30 p.m.

For more information about Dickens on the Strand, visit www.galvestonhistory.org.