A holiday festival reminiscent of the holiday classic A Christmas Carol, It’s a Dickens Christmas, Y’all offers carriage rides, falling snow, music, arts and crafts and the familiar faces from the Charles Dickens’ classic tale. The event is sponsored by Tuscumbia Retail Development, Inc.
The Dickens Feast will kick off the festivities on Friday evening. A Victorian English Christmas dinner with a Southern twist will be served at the Roundhouse at the Tuscumbia Railway Depot located at 204 West Fifth Street. The evening will include entertainment by the Christmas Carol characters of Sustainable Differences. Advance tickets ($25/person) are required for the feast. Dickens-era attire is encouraged but not required.
Costumed characters will stroll the streets on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pride and Clyde the Clydesdales will be on hand to give carriage rides. An outdoor holiday market will be filled with arts and crafts and food vendors, and the shops of Tuscumbia will offer their own holiday specials. The Nutcracker Victorian Ballroom Dancers, brass and string ensembles, vocalists, children’s dance groups and others will offer entertainment throughout the day. Expect to find snow falling on Main Street and watch for appearances by Santa Claus and Father Christmas, his earlier English counterpart. A real Dickens-era sleigh will be displayed at Oh! Bryan’s Steakhouse. Trolley Tours of the historic town of Tuscumbia will be offered, led by a knowledgeable guide describing the architecture of Tuscumbia’s National Register Historic District and sharing Christmas customs (donations accepted).
Activities appealing to the younger generation include Christmas Muffins with Mickey Mouse at the Helen Keller Public Library with a screening of Mickey’s Christmas Carol ($5, reservations required by calling 256.383.7065), Milk and Cookies with Tiny Tim and a reading of A Christmas Carol at Cold Water Books (free), and cookie decorating organized by Aunt Bea’s Bakery ($2).
As darkness falls, festivalgoers should proceed down the hill at South Main Street to Spring Park, where the newly revamped Light and Water Show will present the dancing waters set to Christmas music and train rides will be offered through the park.
Additional activities include the 5K Dickens Dash and the one-mile Tiny Tim Trot, a Holiday High Tea at Locust Hill (advance tickets required), the annual “Trees of Christmas” exhibit of towering live evergreens decorated in themes at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art (admission charge), Holiday Open House at the Helen Keller Home (reduced admission) and the Ball of Christmas Past held at the Tennessee Valley Country Club (tickets required).