Dickens of a Christmas

Historic Downtown Franklin hosts 29th Annual Dickens of a Christmas Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 14-15

Travel back into the Victorian era, every second weekend in December! This year, Dickens of a Christmas continues its tradition in Historic Downtown Franklin, Saturday and Sunday, December 14-15, 2013 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday). The free, holiday-themed street festival, is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.

More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’ 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.

Anyone is invited to join the fun by showing up in costume and engaging with the characters on the street! Or, just come as you are and enjoy a beautifully preserved Main Street with more than 70 unique shopping and dining destinations in the 15-block National Register Historic District.

City Hall Stage Schedule
Saturday
10:00 a.m. – Classic Country Christmas – “Marty Crum Band”
11:00 a.m. – Southern Academy of Irish Dance
Noon – West Meade Baptist Church, Decatur, AL
1:00 p.m. – Christmas Brass Choir – “Opry Brass Band”
2:00 p.m. – Franklin High School Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
4:00 p.m. – Vintage Vocals

Sunday
Noon – Smooth Jazz Christmas Classics “Poinsettia”
1:00 p.m. – Harpeth Suzuki Strings
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Franklin High Choral Group
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Williamson County Youth Orchestra
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – The Arts Place
5:00 – Town Sing Lead by Jean Thomason & The Vintage Vocals

Five Points Schedule
Saturday
Noon to 2 p.m. – Clearview Baptist church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus

Sunday
1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Clearview Baptist Church Handbell Choir
4 p.m. – Franklin High School Chorus

Fourth & Main Schedule
Saturday
1:00 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.
2:30 p.m. – Bell Buckle Morris Dancers under the direction of Miss Anna Claire Camp, featuring authentic Cornish sword and stick dances.
3:30 p.m. – Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers under the direction of Ms. Chrissy Davis Camp.

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, harpists, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
  • Costumed characters from Dickens’ 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 Dicken’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.
  •  A  Town Sing starting at the Public Square at the town Christmas tree at 4:30 p.m. 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.

To find out more, call the Heritage Foundation at 615-591-8500 or www.historicfranklin.com or email info@historicfranklin.com.