For the past 31 years in San Francisco, a large group of volunteers puts on a 4 weekend event known as The Charles Dicken’s Fair.
Despite having lived in the Bay Area for 20 years of my life, this was the first year that I actually went, and it was fantastic. I felt like I traveled back in time. People dressed up in costume of the era, I saw an actual Punch and Judy puppet show, saw characters from Dicken’s books walking around the lot and ate lots of good authentic British food. The fair, for the most part are rows and rows of shops and little carts selling specialized goods (Victorian costume and clothing, jewelery, candy, etc).
There was a Fezziwigs Warehouse as soon as you walk in, and the entire place was mapped out using character names and city references from all of the Dicken’s books. An avid Dicken’s fan would have loved it. I’ve only read a few of his books and those few and far between each other. I had my book club read A Christmas Carol and we went to The Dicken’s Fair as our first Book Club Field Trip. Needless to say, we didn’t actually discuss A Christmas Carol because its a story so many people know by heart and one that the movies replicate exactly from the books, including specific lines and narration. Gonzo’s narration in A Muppet Christmas Carol is taken directly from the book.
Now for some picture proof of the awesomeness of the Dicken’s Fair.
This hat shop we went to was AMAZING. I think we tried on every hat inside, including stray feathers we stuck in our hair. (I think we look like swash-bucklers in this photo — fyi, I’m the one on the left).
This is Fezziwig’s Warehouse during a dance. They also played games with people from the audience.
This is the stage for the Punch and Judy Show: