Dickens of a Christmas

John Fraser, Historic Franklin Book_smallHistoric Downtown Franklin hosts 30th Annual Dickens of a Christmas Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 13-14, 2014

This year will mark the 30th year to celebrate Dickens of a Christmas in Historic Downtown Franklin!  Each second weekend in December, we travel back 150 years in time to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 13-14, 2014, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, is open to the public, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.

Produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and Downtown Franklin Association, Dickens of a Christmas is often listed as a  Top 20 event in the Southeast by the Southeastern Tourism Society.

More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’s stories, vendors or street performers. Show up any time over the course of the weekend, and you’re sure to meet Ebenezer Scrooge, his unfortunate partner Marley (the ghost in chains), little Tiny Tim Cratchit and his family, and many more, including Father Christmas.

In addition to more than two dozen street performers, there are many scheduled performances throughout the event.

Click here to see a performance schedule, and go here to see the event map.

Other activities include:

  • Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Public Square for $2 per person.
  • A holiday bazaar arts & crafts area encircles Franklin’s charming Public Square.
  • Dancers and street musicians on Main Street throughout the event. Violinists, hand bell choirs, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
  • Costumed characters from Dickens’s stories interacting with visitors on the street. Scrooge bellows his “Bah! Humbug” while the Cratchit family parades the streets with Tiny Tim. Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future make regular appearances. Urchins under the direction of the nefarious Fagin from Dickens’s Oliver pester English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Father and Mother Christmas delight children.
  • Victorian treats abound, from authentic fish ‘n’ chips to turkey legs, roasted nuts, kettle corn, roasted corn, roasted pork, sausages and sugar plums.
  • Everyone is invited to join two Town Sings, starting at the Public Square at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday Sunday with candles ($1 donation requested) and song sheets.
  • Getting there: From Interstate 65, take Exit 65 and head west toward Franklin for three miles on Highway 96/Murfreesboro Road/Third Avenue South, which runs into the Public Square at the heart of the festival. Turn right or left at Church Street as you approach the Square to access either of the two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South. Additional on-street free parking is available.

New this year:

  • We guarantee snow on Main Street for Dickens of a Christmas. Bring your camera for a family photo!
  • A costume contest for folks dressed as a character from any Charles Dickens story or in Victorian attire. Categories for children, adults, and groups.
  • An expanded variety of musicians and street performers.
  • Two “warming stations”. Step inside Hiram Masonic Lodge on 2nd Avenue South or Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church at Five Points for a quick warm-up!

For event map, click here.
For performance schedule, click here.

For information on corporate sponsorships or general info on Dickens of a Christmas, contact Krista Dial atkdial@historicfranklin.com.

Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public, presented by The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seeks to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

We love our volunteers! We coordinate their good work with the help of VolunteerSpot.com — FREE, easy signups and scheduling save time and make it easy to organize all the people & things that help you make a difference in our community. Take a tour today at www.VolunteerSpot.com.