One of the Gulf Coast's most beloved thematic holiday festivals is back on the island. Dickens on The Strand, now in its 49th year, returns to Galveston with family fun, live entertainment, special events, and more. The three-day event runs Friday, December 2 through Sunday, December 4 at various venues along The Strand.
Tickets range from $10 (youth) to $75 (adult VIP access) and can be found online.
As always, visitors are encouraged to dress in period as they greet costumed hosts and characters. For the uninitiated, the event sees Galveston's Strand transformed into 19th-century Victorian England. That means street performers, stage acts, special events, teatimes, beer tours, kids activities, and more. (Oh, and Scotch eggs.)
Here's a rundown of some popular events during the weekend:
Friday, December 2, 5 pm-9 pm
Held in Fezziwig's Beer Hall between Strand and Mechanic, this free event features live entertainment, hearty ales, and more and is hosted by the always-popular Dickens Town Crier.
Victorian bed races
Sunday, December 4 pm- 4:30 pm
Always a crowd favorite, and entries are still open for interested 5-person teams. The event pits, as described, contestants racing on beds with wheels.
The Dickens Dash
Sunday, December 4 , 4 pm
Playing on the Victorian theme of dressing uncomfortably while undertaking strenuous physical activity, this Sunday finale is a timed (and costumed) footrace down Mechanic Street for individual heats, as well as team relays.
Holiday handbell concerts
Friday, December 2, 5:30 pm, 7 pm, and 8:30 pm
A cherished festival kickoff, the concerts feature performers in costume intricately playing holiday classics on chiming handbells.
A Dickensian Breakfast
Saturday, December 3, 8:30 am; Sunday, December 4, 11 am
Hosted by Charles Dickens' great-great-granddaughter Jane Dickens Monk, this ceremonial meal offers breakfast items popular during Victorian times, plenty of tea, and serious people watching.
Elevenses on the Pier
Sunday, December 4, 11 am
Dickens descendant and host Polly Olivia Boyd welcomes guests to the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA for tea and cookies with a touch of history, live music at the dock, and more.
Saint Arnold's Strand Tours
Friday, December 3 through Sunday, December 4
Take an ale-fueled tour in costume, score some themed mugs, and more spirited fun over three days.