charles would be proud
Cherished Galveston Dickens holiday festival toasts 50 years with genteel nod from UK Parliament
As generations of locals and travelers are aware, Galveston’s Dickens on The Strand Festivalimmerses visitors in the environs of the iconic author’s world of larger-than-life characters of 1830’s to 1840s England.
This year, the beloved cultural festival marks a major milestone this year as it celebrates its golden anniversary. Expect a host of special events and activations on Galveston’s popular Strand from December 1-3. Important details, a full schedule of events, and tick information can be found on the official site.
In a genteel nod to the cherished event’s 50th anniversary and its British origins, the Dickens on The Strand Festival — and its parent organization the Galveston Historical Foundation — just received a special and official recognition in the United Kingdom’s Parliament.
Specifically, this recognition came in the form of a Parliamentary motion tabled by Tracey Crouch MP. Notably, Crouch’s constituency includes the town of Chatham, Kent, where Charles Dickens lived for a number of years, according to press materials.
Costumes make for serious people watching. Dickens on the Strand/Facebook
Crouch’s full motion can be found here. She declared, in part:
“That this House congratulates the Galveston Historical Foundation in Texas on the 50th anniversary of the annual Dickens on The Strand celebration from 1-3 December 2023; welcomes the expected 50,000 visitors to the festival which celebrates the life and work of Charles Dickens who spent many years of his life in Kent, most notably in Chatham; notes that the Tall Ship ELISSA – the official Tall Ship of Texas – which will host the ‘Salute to Sunset’ during the festival was built in the United Kingdom; celebrates the historical ties between the United Kingdom and the city of Galveston which was home to the first British Consulate in the State of Texas in 1846; and welcomes the role of the British Consulate-General in Houston as the presenting sponsor for this year’s historic event.”
Praise and acknowledgement went not only to the Galveston Historical Foundation for its deft running of the festival for 50 years, but also to some key Gulf Coast/UK ties. Galveston was home to the first British Consulate in the State of Texas in 1846. Meanwhile, the famed and historic Tall Ship ELISSA – the official tall ship of Texas – was built in the UK, and that Galveston was home to the first British Consulate in the State of Texas in 1846.
“Galveston Historical Foundation is honored to be recognized for this achievement in support of Galveston and the revitalization and restoration of our historic commercial area and the 1877 ELISSA,” said Dwayne Jones, executive director of Galveston Historical Foundation, in a statement. “We have hosted descendants of Charles Dickens each year since 1987, with the first descendant participating in 1976. We consider our relationship with the Consul General and his staff as a treasured friendship that recalls the important British story in Galveston from the 19th century.”
The fun runs December 1-3 in Galveston this year. Dickens on the Strand Facebook
Local cultural attaché the British Consulate in Houston, itself responsible for myriad Brit-themed activities across town, also paid tribute to Dickens on The Strand.
“I’m delighted that the work of the Galveston Historical Foundation and this festival has received this level of recognition in the UK Parliament. Dickens on The Strand is a unique celebration and one of the most colourful I have been to anywhere in the world. The British Consulate in Houston is delighted to be a part of proceedings, and I hope as many Texans as possible will take the chance to put on some Victorian clothes and celebrate with us in Galveston this December.”
Galveston’s The Dickens on The Strand Festival runs Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 3 on Galveston’s Strand. For tickets and a full schedule of events, visit the official event site.