Dickens Village Festival set to start Friday

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Thursday is Thanksgiving, but for one town that means something totally different — the start of an annual tradition.

For the 26th year, the town of Garrison will put on their Dickens Village Festival where the streets transform into a Charles Dickens-era Victorian town.

“Kind of the anchor of the Dickens Festival has been the play by Charles Dickens, The Christmas Carol. And every year it’s a different version,” said Dick Messerly, President of Dickens Village Festival Planning Committee.

Along with new plays, Messerly said they are still bringing in new ideas for the whole family to enjoy.

“We’ve turned Sunday now into our family day. We try to emphasize our entertainment with family entertainment. This year it’s an illusionist and a humorist,” said Messerly.

And with a new theme this year, he thinks the festival will be better than ever.

“It’s Where Christmas Begins. We’ve been doing Dickens for 26 years and a lot of people come to the festival saying this is the best way for them to get their Christmas season started,” added Messerly.

Over 1,000 people are expected at this year’s festival, and everyone is getting in on the action.

“We’ve talked with the drug store people. I know they’ve been busy, hard at it with boxes everywhere like us,” said Cindy Fennewald, owner of Flower ‘N Things.

And they aren’t the only one. Fennewald said they are gearing up for the crowd as well.

“We do more than just flowers, we have a full gift shop. Christmas right now especially,” said Fennewald.

With a shop full of trinkets and Christmas trees, she said you won’t find things like this too easily.

She added, “We’re like mom and pop shops so we have different items compared to your big department stores. So you find little unique things in small little stores.

Just as unique as the town of Garrison.

The fun kicks off this weekend and will go through the first few weeks of December. The planning committee said they are hoping the weather allows them to have a great start of the festival. They have only had to cancel two times out of the entire 26 years.


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