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‘Dickens of a Christmas’ in Wellsboro

The 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration is coming Friday through Sunday.

“Wellsboro’s Dickens of a Christmas is a family, fun event,” said Julie VanNess, Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, according to a news release. “Having a good time is what our festival is all about. It’s refreshing to see people enjoying themselves and coming together as Dickens’ characters and willingly sharing their talents as singers and musicians in keeping with the holiday spirit.”

On Saturday only, Wellsboro’s downtown streets will be closed to motorized vehicles and transformed into an early Victorian marketplace with 135 outdoor vendors offering delectable fare to eat and delightful wares to keep or for holiday gift giving.

At 9 a.m., the town crier will greet everyone with the ringing of his bell and announcements of the day, the news release said. The Dickens Fezziwig Street Performers in Victorian garb will take center stage at the Main and Crafton Street intersection to welcome the crowd and perform skits, sing and dance. Visitors are always invited to join in.

Lining the streets will be artists and craftsmen with hand carved Christmas trees, wrought iron and hand-turned wooden pieces, homemade jams, jellies, cheeses and meats, hand-painted Christmas ornaments, pottery, furniture, jewelry, soaps and shampoos, specialty candles, hats, scarves, ponchos, sweaters and other goods. Also available will be fresh Christmas wreaths, garlands, swags, centerpieces and greens.

Outdoor food vendors will offer hot chocolate, sticky buns, chili, homemade soups and chowders, hot roast beef, barbecued pork, sausage, meatball and crab cake sandwiches, bread pudding, apple dumplings, fresh roasted peanuts, elk meat, peanut brittle, kettle corn, caramel popcorn, candy apples, soft pretzels and other treats.

Registration for the Dickens Best Dressed Showcase will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Those participating in the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Victorian Strolls will pass by the community’s Main Street boulevards decorated with fresh Christmas trees covered with lights and ornaments and the gaslights with evergreen wreaths and bows.

In the Deane Center lobby Saturday only will be New York City-based hat designer Christine A. Moore with her “Dickens of A Christmas” hat collection; Shutter Homestead with 12 varieties of wines available to sample and purchase by the bottle; Staggering Unicorn Winery with a selection of sweet fruit, berry and specialty wines, including the mint chocolate Winter’s Kiss to purchase by the bottle and free tastings; and the Wellsboro Rotary Club with rifle raffle tickets.

Indoor craft shows with more than 80 vendors will be open Friday and Saturday at the United Methodist Church and Wellsboro Active Living Center and on Saturday only at the Wellsboro Fireman’s Annex.

Friday and Saturday, local churches will host a variety of indoor events, the news release said. Among them is a Dickens of a Dinner, lunches, concerts, a display of model trains, a cookie sale and in the spirit of helping others, an Alternative Giving Christmas Fair with entertainment and refreshments.

Hamilton-Gibson will present A Dickens of a Concert Friday night and six performances of “A Christmas Carol” at the Deane Center’s two theaters on Saturday and one performance on Sunday, the news release said. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Arcadia Theatre is showing the film “The Man Who Invented Christmas” about Charles Dickens and his creation of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters in his novella “A Christmas Carol”.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, the Candlelight Walk for Peace will begin at Packer Park on Queen Street and at 5:30 p.m. the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony with Santa and a carol sing will be on the Green.

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