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Friday, December 7, 2012

My View of Dickens on the Strand

Every year, the town of Galveston Texas turns into a Texan-styled Victorian England.  At Dickens on the Strand, you'll find the old downtown barricaded off to modern traffic and the streets full of Lords and Ladies and Pirates and street urchins.  The world of Charles Dickens and his fellow writers comes to life for a few exciting days.
The Ghost of Christmas Future leads Scrooge
on a tour of Dickens on the Strand
  If you are a historian who feels that accuracy is the key to the success of such a venture, stay far, far away. Period consultants need not apply.  But if you enjoy a little dress up, play-acting, and general fairgrounds atmosphere, then this is place for you.  You'll be able to grab a leg of turkey to gnaw on, have a cup of Glogg (hot, mulled wine) and my favorite, a hot steaming cup of Wassail.  (As in--Here we go a'wassailing.  Wassail is a traditional drink made of eggs, cider, apples, orange juice, pineapple juice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, all of which forms a very tart and spicy drink.)
  Along with the expected characters you'll see, such as Jacob Marley's ghost, Scrooge, the Spirits of Christmas, and Father Christmas himself, you'll also find many that Dickens did not envision.  Pirates fill the streets, which certainly did exist in this time period, as well as Texas/Confederate soldiers, who also co-existed with Dickens.  The Queeen Victoria shows up, and honors the soldiers with a review.  The latest group to join in the fun are the wildly creative Steampunk characters.  These actually have some literary heritage, found mostly in the writings of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.  This is a genre that has evolved into something more modern, with all sorts of gadgets that Wells and Verne never dreamed of, but Hollywood has certainly helped to form.
  Now in its 38th year, Dickens on the Strand is considered one of the top ten destinations to visit for Christmas fun.  There are many singing and juggling acts, street performers, and parades.  It is family friendly during the day, though it gets a little rowdy at night.  All in all, it's a wonderfully fun day for everyone.
A clever Steampunker who thinks
he can fly.

These little beggars were
cluttering up the street.

A very distinguished couple. 

Father Christmas is always sure to be on hand.

Queen Victoria reviews the Confederate Troops.

Sherlock Holmes attempts to unravel the mystery
of why he is in Texas.

1 comment:

  1. If you have been there once you have seen it forever. There is never anything new. Bathrooms are limited. Skip the trip.