Dickens of a Christmas
Historic Downtown Franklin
Saturday & Sunday, December 14-15, 2013
Dickens of a Christmas brings entertaining weekend to Historic Downtown Franklin
It’s a 29-year holiday tradition in Historic Downtown Franklin on the second weekend in December to travel back in time about 150 years to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 14-15, 2013, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, is open to the public, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.
Presented by Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant and Alexander Automotive and produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and Downtown Franklin Association, Dickens of a Christmas is a Top 20 event in the Southeast, designated by the Southeastern Tourism Society.
More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’ stories, vendors or street performers. Show up any time over the course of the weekend, and you’re sure to meet Ebenezer Scrooge, his unfortunate partner Marley (the ghost in chains), little Tiny Tim Cratchit and his family, and many more, including Father Christmas.
In addition to more than two dozen street performers, there are many scheduled performances throughout the event, including:
City Hall Stage Schedule
10:00 a.m. – Classic Country Christmas – “Marty Crum Band”
11:00 a.m. – Southern Academy of Irish Dance
Noon – West Meade Baptist Church, Decatur, AL
1:00 p.m. – Christmas Brass Choir – “Opry Brass Band”
2:00 p.m. – Franklin High School Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
4:00 p.m. – Vintage Vocals
Noon – Smooth Jazz Christmas Classics “Poinsettia”
1:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Franklin High Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Williamson County Youth Orchestra
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – The Arts Place
5:00 – Town Sing Lead by Jean Thomason & The Vintage Vocals
Five Points Schedule
Noon to 2 p.m. – Clearview Baptist church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus
1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Clearview Baptist Church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus
Fourth & Main Schedule
1:00 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.
2:30 p.m. – Bell Buckle Morris Dancers under the direction of Miss Anna Claire Camp, featuring authentic Cornish sword and stick dances.
3:30 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.
Other activities include:
• Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Public Square for $2 per person.
• A holiday bazaar arts & crafts area encircles Franklin’s charming Public Square.
• Dancers and street musicians on Main Street throughout the event. Violinists, hand bell choirs, harpists, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
• Costumed characters from Dickens’ stories interacting with visitors on the street. Scrooge bellows his “Bah! Humbug” while the Cratchit Family parades the streets with Tiny Tim. Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future make regular appearances. Urchins under the direction of the nefarious Fagin from Dicken’s Oliver pester English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Father and Mother Christmas delight children.
• Victorian treats abound, from authentic fish ‘n’ chips to turkey legs, roasted nuts, kettle corn, roasted corn, roasted pork, sausages and sugar plums.
• Everyone is invited to join the Town Sing starting at the Public Square at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with candles ($1 donation requested) and song sheets.
Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public, presented by The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seeks to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.
Getting there: From Interstate 65, take Exit 65 and head west toward Franklin for three miles on Highway 96/Murfreesboro Road/Third Avenue South, which runs into the Public Square at the heart of the festival. Turn right or left at Church Street as you approach the Square to access either of the two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South. Additional on-street free parking is available.