Downtown Franklin to Be Transformed for 31st Annual Dickens of a Christmas Celebration

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Step back in time with the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County when Dickens of a Christmas returns to Franklin’s Main Street December 12-13, 2015.

Sponsored this year by Nissan, the 31st annual free street festival will recreate the time of Charles Dickens using historic downtown Franklin’s Victorian architecture as the backdrop.  Some 200 musicians, dancers and characters will fill the streets, including several from Charles Dickens’s stories.  Expect to see and interact with the nefarious Fagin from Oliver Twist; Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim Cratchit with his parents from A Christmas Carol; and of course, a Victorian Father and Mother Christmas with treats for children.

“Dickens of a Christmas is the perfect event for our historic Main Street,” said Mary Pearce, executive director of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County.  “Downtown Franklin always exudes its own special magic, and yet this event adds an extra bit of sparkle.  It dovetails perfectly with our preserved Victorian architecture and our commitment to saving and showcasing our historical treasures. As more attention is turned toward downtown Franklin in both the local and national press, we encourage festival goers to dress in Victorian costume and to add to the ambiance as they stroll the streets.  Adding even a hat and scarf to modern attire helps set the scene and get everyone in the holiday mood.”

This year’s event will reprise a crowd favorite from last year: it WILL snow at Dickens of a Christmas!  Come decked out in holiday style to capture that perfect family picture.

New this year will be the Lucky Scruff Wintery Whisker Revue, a competition among hirsute gentlemen for the finest facial hair.  Those taking advantage of No Shave November will want to hang on to their whiskers until the Sunday afternoon competition on the stage at the Public Square. Winners will take home fabulous prizes courtesy of Lucky Scruff, a new store at The Factory specializing in accessories for the bearded gentleman, and all entrants will receive gift cards. The judging will take place at 3pm. To enter this contest, visit the Dickens event page at HistoricFranklin.com.

Favorite Victorian-era activities will return, including sugar plums and roasted chestnuts being sold on the street. Other food vendors will offer heartier old English fare.  A variety of musical and dance performances will take place both on the street and on the stage at City Hall.  Horse-drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo for children, live artisan demonstrations, and more than 70 vendors offering holiday arts and crafts will line Main Street from Second to Fifth Avenues.  Each day will conclude with a town sing of classic Christmas carols.  Saturday’s town sing will take place in front of the stage on the Public Square; Sunday’s town sing will be conducted inside the Historic Presbyterian Church at Five Points.

Dickens of a Christmas will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 12, and from 1 1 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 13.  The event is free and open to the public; some attractions will involve a small fee.  More information and a schedule of events will be available at www.historicfranklin.com.

Producing Dickens of a Christmas is just one of the many activities of The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County.  Since 1967 the non-profit group has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources; in short, saving the places that matter.