The festive spirit of the bygone Victorian era is poised to sweep the shores of Galveston Island as it marks the 50th anniversary of its cherished Dickens on the Strand festival. Honoring the beloved 19th-century novelist Charles Dickens, this Texas tradition is set to take place from December 1 to December 3, featuring a lineup of attractions marrying the quaintness of "A Christmas Carol" with Galveston’s historic backdrop, according to a report by Houston On The Cheap.
In recognition of the event's golden jubilee, the Dickens on the Strand will offer a gamut of unique and timeless festivities, from the Dickens Royal Raffle and an exclusive Buckingham Palace VIP area to a feast with Dickens' descendants. Not to mention Victorian Bed Races, for those looking to add some pep to their step-in period garb. As per Houston On The Cheap, the festival will even feature the descendants of Dickens himself, elevating the experience for literary buffs and history enthusiasts alike.
Moving beyond the local, this year’s festival has achieved international acclaim with commendation from across the pond. As reported by Austin CultureMap, Tracey Crouch MP, representing a constituency with close ties to Dickens, lauded the festival and its "expected 50,000 visitors" in a parliamentary motion. Crouch celebrated the historical ties between the UK and Galveston, noting that the Tall Ship ELISSA, which played host to parts of the festival, was built in the United Kingdom.
Dwayne Jones, executive director of Galveston Historical Foundation, expressed pride over the UK Parliament's recognition. "We have hosted descendants of Charles Dickens each year since 1987, with the first descendant participating in 1976," Jones told Austin CultureMap. He spoke warmly of the "treasured friendship" that recalls Galveston's storied British past in the 19th century.