Historic Downtown Franklin’s Main Street steps back in time on the second weekend in December to the Victorian era, with more than 250 costumed characters bringing to life A Christmas Carol and other tales of Charles Dickens. The 29th annual Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, open to the public, Dec. 14-15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
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, Fagin, the Artful Dodger, a band of orphans, some bobbies (behave, they’re real Franklin police officers) and many more, including Father Christmas. In addition to the free street festival, there are several Dickens-related events in the Downtown Franklin area, including Studio Tenn’s production of A Christmas Carol at Franklin Theatre, Oliver at the Factory’s Boiler Room Theatre, and high teas at Marcia’s Patisserie, Lillie Belle’s, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Additionally, virtually all of the 70 shops and restaurants in Downtown Franklin are in the Dickens spirit–and not in a “Bah, Humbug!” way–for the weekend.
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.