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Dickens on the Strand returns for 49th year

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    Roberta and Neal Thornton and their daughter-in-law Leigha Thornton at a past Dickens.

For 49 years, Galveston Historical Foundation’s (GHF) Dickens on the Strand festival has highlighted downtown Galveston’s Victorian- era architecture while providing a one-of-a-kind holiday destination, filled with the sights and sounds of Charles Dicken’s work. This year’s event continues that tradition with new entertainers and events returning favorited and family-friendly programming. 

This annual festival begins Friday, Dec. 2, with the free admission to Fezziwig’s Beer Hall from 5pm-9pm and continues with ticketed entry Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 am-9 pm, and Sunday, Dec. 4, from noon to 6 pm. 

Tickets are $20 adults and $14 for youth (discounted tickets for GHF members). Attendees in Victorian costumes receive 50% off entry. Tickets are available online at 

“GHF is excited to offer our 49th annual Dickens on the Strand. This year brings new attractions and entertainers as well as some old favorites,” stated GHF Executive Dwayne Jones, “As we anticipate our silver anniversary in 2023, GHF is hosting more descendants of Charles Dickens and welcoming new aspects of our annual holiday festival. You will want to attend and be a part of our family tradition.” 

Beverly Davis of Liberty will once again be chairing the information booth on 23rd Street and Mechanic on Saturday, Dec. 3 and among her volunteers are Roberta and Neal Thornton of Liberty. Also, Allison and Scott Richert of Galveston but whore parents, Valeria and Tom Richert are from Liberty. 

The Annual Holiday Street Festival, based on 19th century Victorian London, features parades, non-stop entertainment on multiple 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. 

Returning Dickens descendants include great-great- great granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley, great-great granddaughter Jane Monk, and great-great-great-great- grandson Ollie Dickens. This year’s event introduces Polly Olivia Boyd, the great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickens to Galveston for her first Dickens on the Strand. Also, there will be Charles Dickens (an actor)! 

Among the activities are the Holiday Handbell Concerts at the 1895 St. Joseph’s Church on Friday, Dec. 2 at 5:30, 7 and 8:30 pm. Reservations are required. $20 per person. Charles Dickens will host the Fezziwig’s Friday evening, Dec. 2 from 5-9 pm, other events are the Salute to Sunset onboard the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, a Dickensian Breakfast at the 1859 Ashton Villa, Tea with the Captain’s Wife, and Saint Arnold’s Grand Walking Tours. 

The Dickens snow yard returns and new areas like Tiny Tim’s Play Land and Shopkeepers Skills Village will introduce participants to numerous hands-on experiences. Roaming performers and sets throughout the site will offer new interactions with Charles Dickens’ beloved storytelling.  

For more information on Dickens on the strand, Galveston Historical Foundation or to purchase tickets, visit or call 409-765-7834. For more festival information, please contact Will Wright, Chief Creative Office at 409-765-3424 or