Due to the record breaking rainfall of this weekend, Galveston Historical Foundation is announcing the addition of an unprecedented second weekend of the 43rd Annual Dickens on The Strand Festival. The added weekend’s event will be held exclusively on The Strand street on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10.
The beloved annual festival is based on 19th-century Victorian London and features parades, non-stop entertainment on seven stages, strolling carolers, roving musicians, bagpipers, jugglers and a host of other entertainers. 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 gift items.
To capture the feeling of the Christmas spirit during the life of the great English author Charles Dickens, many guests choose to don their best Victorian outfits. Creativity is accepted and encouraged, so if you are in a time crunch and need ideas on what to wear, here are some easy tips to get you properly dressed for the part:
Ladies usually wore bonnets of some kind, trimmed with feathers, flowers, ribbons and bows. Create a bonnet easily from an old straw or felt hat from a thrift shop. A Victorian dress usually had a high neckline, sometimes with a collar and fitted bodice, three-quarter length full sleeves and a very full long skirt worn over layered petticoats or a hoop. With a few amendments such as adding more fullness to the skirt, accenting with ribbons, braid, lace and flowers, and even adding a collar, any thrift-shop find can be transformed into a lovely Victorian dress.
A gentleman always wore a hat of some kind. Even working-class men are pictured with battered top hats or lower-crowned, broad-brimmed hats. Tweed skimmers were more sporty versions of Victorian attire. For clothing, a plain white shirt can be given a period look by turning the collar up. Add a ribbon, scarf or fancy cravat and knot in front. A vest, or waistcoat, of brocade, velvet or silk will help create a gentleman’s costume. And tapered pants in black, grey or buff with a strip of ribbon running down the outer seam were a gentleman’s normal attire, while a working man would wear baggy wool or corduroy pants.
With clearer skies expected for the weekend, head down to Dickens on The Strand to experience all of the magic and animation the festival has to offer. Admission is free Friday night to Fezziwig’s Beer Hall from 5-9 p.m. Saturday’s event will be held from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. with tickets specially priced at $8 for adults and $4 for costumed adults, $5 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 & under are free. First weekend ticket holders will have their admissions honored the second weekend or at 2017’s festival. Tickets and additional information are available at www.dickensonthestrand.org.