A Victorian Christmas in San Francisco

I’m on the final day of my San Francisco holiday. I’ve had a lovely time, visiting friends, eating delicious food, and enjoying some only-in-San Francisco activities.

One of those activities is a yearly event that is dear to my heart. I’ve performed there on several occasions and still know many of the people who make this event so fabulous. I’m talking about the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

This five-weekend holiday event recreates the London of Charles Dickens. Along with crafts and food, there are hundreds of costumed actors, musicians and dancers who perform on the stages or wander the streets, interacting with the customers. For example, you’ll see the Ghost of Christmas Present leading Scrooge, in his nightdress, through the streets and interacting with other performers. It’s a good time and really puts you in the holiday mood.

I wore male attire, though I wasn’t portraying a man. When asked, I replied, “I am not a gentleman, I am a lady of bohemian inclination.” Shocking!

While there, I enjoyed tea with my friends, Andy and Todi, who perform as part of a comedy act, Ballet Russe.

Todi and Me

Todi and Me. I’m the “blond.” Photo courtesy of Andy. Thanks, Andy!

It was a proper tea, with cucumber sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and lemon custard. When they weren’t performing, we wandered around and had a swell time.

Andy and Me

That’s me and Andy, a couple of flash coves.

You never know who you’ll run into on the fair streets of London town.

Me and Abe

After posing, we hunted down a few vampires.

All this might put you in the mood for a little (or a lot of) Dickens. Project Gutenberg has a number of the works of Charles Dickens, in many different eBook formats, and all for free. You can find them here.

Enjoy the dickens out of reading Dickens. If you’re in or near San Francisco, the Dickens Fair runs until December 23. Go!

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