Up & Coming Weekly

November 15, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 16 - 22, 2022 UCW 13 A Dickens Holiday: A celebration of Christmas traditions in downtown Fayetteville by R. ELGIN ZEIBER All are invited to downtown Fayetteville the day after anksgiving. Locals, visitors, families, and friends gather to kick off the holiday season and share in a spirit of goodwill and gratitude. is year, the Downtown Alliance is produc- ing A Dickens Holiday in partnership with the Fayetteville History Museum, generous sponsors, and downtown businesses. It will take place on Nov. 25 from 1 to 9 p.m. on Franklin Street, cen- tered where the Downtown Market is held every Saturday year-round. Shoppers are invited to come earlier to take advantage of the downtown shops' Dickens Holiday Deals. A Dickens Holiday is a 22-year beloved Fayetteville tradition that was created to draw people downtown to shop for the holidays while enjoying "A Christmas Carol" brought to life in a festive generosity of spirit. It's a fun way of reminding people that there is a great down- town with a variety of local establishments here in Fayetteville that shouldn't be overlooked in favor of chain stores, said Hank Parfitt, one of the Downtown Alliance volunteer organizers. Inspired by Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," the day will feature reenactors stationed throughout "Dickens Village" dressed as street urchins, the ghost of Jacob Marley, miser Eb- eneezer Scrooge, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Queen Victoria, Princess Bonetta and other characters from the book and period. roughout the day, there will be strolling musicians, magical acts, ax-throwing, a balloon artist, the Victorian Llamas and even Father Christmas. Visitors can enjoy the musical enter- tainment of the Coventry Carolers, the Oakwood Waits, the Cross Creek Pipe and Drums and the Highland Brass Quintet who will perform Christ- mas music in costume throughout the day. e Victorian era denotes the 63 years Victoria was Queen of England, lasting from 1837 to her death in 1901. "A Christmas Carol," written by Charles Dickens, captured the characteristics of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday. Visitors are welcome to attend wearing their own Victorian era garb. Helpful tips regard- ing the best way to create that perfect Victorian era look without breaking the bank or doing any sewing can be found at the Downtown Alliance website www.faydta.com/ADickensHoliday/. Top hats and capes will be for sale at the Dickens Merchandise Booth. "e whole downtown is happy during the event, and you have this strong feeling of com- munity," Parfitt said. "at's what we call the 'magic of Dickens.'" Like Market Days in Victorian England, there will be vendor stalls lining the streets, who along with downtown's unique shops, will offer plenty of opportunities to pick up Christmas gifts while being entertained by the sights and sounds of the holidays. A Dickens Holiday is "probably Fayetteville at its best," Parfitt added. "For many merchants, they have their best single day of sales" during the event. "I've been involved with Dickens for a dozen years or more," said Heidi Bleazey, historic prop- erties coordinator for the Fayetteville History Museum. "And I'm just always impressed at how much the community comes together and how much downtown shines." With 25 locally owned eateries and drink pur- veyors within walking distance of the event, it's easy to relax and enjoy a variety of food and bev- erages, along with shopping at the 30 specialty retail shops, while downtown. e Fayetteville History Museum will co-host and serve as the center of the festivities. During the day, the museum will be known as "Victoria Station," the perfect conduit between the present and the past. Two horse-drawn "Cinderella" car- riages, sponsored by the Cool Spring Downtown District, will take revelers for a 15-20 minute ride around the museum along the adjacent streets. is is a private ride in an elegant carriage for a romantic couple — or for the whole family if they wish. e cost is $75 no matter how large the family. Tickets are being sold in advance and can be purchased at VisitDowntownFayetteville.com. "e Fayetteville History Museum is housed in a national-register property," Bleazey said. "It's the 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Railway Depot. Multiple aspects of the Victorian-era life and the period are going to be featured, and Dickens is going to be highlighted in our museum as well." Around 5:15 p.m., there will be a "Lighting of the Candles" to mark the arrival of the holidays and to greet Queen Victoria and other character actors as they appear on the performance stage along with the musical performers, and Sir John, the emcee. "We will have Scrooge on stage, too," Parfitt said. "And I rather suspect he will tell the audi- ence that, after he's seen man's love for one an- other in downtown Fayetteville, he has become a changed man." e ceremony will end at 5:45 p.m., in time for the crowd to attend the tree-lighting in front of the Arts Council. All of downtown will be a lively evening venue for shopping and activities to include Franklin Street. e event will continue with the "Dickens After Dark" market and activi- ties and Carriage Rides from 7 to 9 p.m. e Arts Council will hold the annual tree lighting ceremony at about 6:15 p.m. as part of its Holidays on Hay ... A Season of Light celebration. e beautiful Cool Spring Downtown District tree is 22-feet-tall. It makes a perfect holiday picture backdrop, so be sure to return downtown to take photos. Later the Arts Council will feature a light show of more than 200 drones displaying gigantic holiday images in the sky for approximately 15 minutes, visible from up to four miles away. "We anticipate that people will want to go back and forth between the two events and enjoy all the festivities," Parfitt said. "We look at this as a giant celebration with two big parts." A Dickens Holiday will be 1 to 9 p.m., Fri- day, Nov. 25 — the day after anksgiving — in downtown Fayetteville. e Fayetteville History Museum is located at 325 Franklin Street. Parking is available in the Franklin Street deck and parking lots. COVER A Dickens Holiday will be 1 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 25 on Franklin Street in downtown Fayetteville. (Photos courtesy Downtown Alliance) R. ELGIN ZEIBER, Intern. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200

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