BUCKHANNON – Roasted chestnuts, turkey legs and other Victorian-themed fare will be available at the Dickens Christmas Festival and Faire this December.
The second Dickens Christmas Festival and Faire will return to Main Street Dec. 2. Organizer of the Dickens Christmas Festival and Faire, Becki Westfall, attended the Nov. 8 Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce meeting to talk about returning attractions and new additions.
“Dickens seems to be growing, and we can’t thank the community enough for all the support we’re getting,” Westfall said. “Dickens’ message is that it takes a village, and we are all looking at our village now and know there are people who need help, so our main goal is to collect food to give to the Parish House. Last year, we were able to collect over 1,500 cans of food and over $500 in cash donations.”
The planning committee hopes to double their Parish House donation this year by asking participants to offer canned food or monetary donations when taking a horse-and-carriage ride at the festival.
“We have a horse-drawn sleigh and our horse and carriage rides, which are free to the community; we simply ask for a can of food or a small donation,” Westfall said. “We will have plenty of entertainment. Fish Hawk will have the brass quintet (at its location on Main Street), so make sure you go and listen. We will have the Buckhannon-Upshur Orchestra playing at the Opera House, and we will have our carolers back again on Main Street this year, and they’re fantastic.”
The characters from “A Christmas Carol” will be making an appearance, including Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past and the Ghost of Christmas Present.
“We will have roasted chestnuts and turkey legs again, so certainly make sure you go out and have Buck [Edwards] make you some of his delightful foods,” Westfall said. “We’ll have someone selling figgy pudding – there’s just going to be all kinds of neat things for you to enjoy.”
“If you want to dress up, dress up,” she added. “We had a lot of people last year that enjoyed that.”
Westfall also encouraged everyone to contribute a decoration to the community Christmas tree that will be set up at Jawbone Park.
“The Christmas tree we will have down at Jawbone is everyone’s tree, so the community is encouraged to make an ornament and hang it up,” Westfall said. “The Upshur County Library is having a special ornament decorating day, so any child can come in and decorate an ornament that will be placed on the tree. It’s for young and old alike; it is our tree, it is our community.”
The event at the Upshur County Public Library will take place Friday, Nov. 17, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18, from noon to 2 p.m.
“The activities for the festival will start at 11 a.m., we’ll have vendors on Main Street, and we will have vendors down at Jawbone Park, and Travis Foster will have his ice rink up and running,” Westfall said. “Main Street will be shut down at 11 a.m., meaning you will not be able to drive on Main Street. The only means of transportation on Main Street will be horses.”
The Buckhannon Community Theatre will also have a performance of “A Christmas Story,” taking place Dec. 2 at the Colonial Arts Center at 7 p.m.
“Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and sometimes we miss the idea of Christmas and the joy that it brings, but last year when I stepped into Fezziwig’s Ball, I found it there,” Westfall said. “If you didn’t get to go to Fezziwig Ball last year, it was Christmas, it was happiness and good tidings, and we certainly encourage all of you to participate.”
Starting at 7 p.m. and concluding at 11 p.m., the ball will be the grand finale of the festival. The ball is a ticket-only event, and tickets may be purchased at the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, Just Cuttin’ Up Salon or via a link that can be found on Eventbrite.