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Offline Zardoz

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Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« on: October 24, 2008, 07:44:11 AM »
GALVESTON – If you'd like to help the island recover from Hurricane Ike, just mark your calendar.

The weekend of Dec. 6 and 7, 2008, the 35th annual Dickens on The Strand Victorian holiday festival will be the first major event to be held in Galveston's historic downtown in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

Galveston has one of the largest collections of restored 19th-century iron-front commercial buildings in the country. The downtown Strand National Historic Landmark District and the residential East End Historic Landmark District comprise the largest federally recognized historic landmark district area in the state of Texas. During Hurricane Ike, this area was severely affected, with some downtown buildings flooding by as much as 12 feet.

Galveston Historical Foundation is now working with business owners, homeowners, city leaders, national foundations and federal agencies to rebuild historic Galveston once again.

Dickens on The Strand is the principal annual fund-raising event of Galveston Historical Foundation, which administers numerous historic properties on the island and provides an array of services to residents. For example, GHF has just distributed truckloads of drywall to low- and moderate-income island residents to help them repair their hurricane-damaged homes.

So, your ticket purchase buys much more than a chance to enjoy this venerable Victorian holiday festival.

The decision to go forward with the event in light of the downtown devastation wrought by Ike might seem surprising, but the foundation didn't hesitate.

"We decided that the community needed it, and that GHF needed it," said Clay Wade, the foundation's director of events. "All of us at GHF felt the strong need to continue with the tradition that is the grand holiday event for Galveston."

Even before the hurricane pounded the island, the foundation had been considering a few changes in the festival.

"We've been giving a lot of thought over the last few years to bringing Dickens back to where it started," Wade said. "We wanted to bring back the sort-of homespun aspect that everybody enjoyed.

"Little did we know that Ike would help us do that."


A number of new features had been planned for this year, including Victorian bed races, an expanded version of last year's exhibit from the Charles Dickens Museum in London, and an effort by the festival to "go green." Those will have to wait until next year, but a great many aspects of the event will be unchanged.

"Some of our entertainers have been coming for 20, 25 years," Wade said. "We have several who have agreed to come at no fee this year just because they believe in this event."

Many vendors are returning, as are longtime supporters such as oilman and philanthropist George Mitchell.

"Mr. Mitchell's company is a huge sponsor of ours, and they are supporting us 100 percent," Wade said.

Many of the festival's familiar sights will be on view, as well, a development that might well be seen as miraculous.

"Our salvage warehouse over on Mechanic Street had about 10 feet of water in it, and in that warehouse were all of our props for Dickens," Wade said. "According to our hurricane plans, that's also where we park our vehicles during a storm, so all three of them went underwater.

"We also had 400 kerosene lanterns that we use for the event in the nighttime, and we had a drum of kerosene. So all of that got mixed in with the salt water and sand and muck and everything else.

"But, amazingly, once the remediation team was done, we had lost very few props."

Wade, a sixth-generation Galvestonian, did note one thing that will be different about Galveston's post-Ike Dickens compared to the early versions of the festival first held in the 1970s, when Galveston's then neglected downtown was becoming the primary focal point for Galveston Historical Foundation's preservation efforts. In those early days, the festival was held at night, and the empty commercial buildings were lit with lanterns. The idea was to present the buildings in a romantic light and to hide their flaws in the darkness.

"We're going to hold Dickens 2008 in the daylight, so that people can see what's going on, and that Galveston is going to come back," Wade said.

"As in the beginning with Dickens, the whole point of this was to bring attention to the architecture of downtown. It became a backdrop for the festival, which is what it will be again this year."

Even as new visitors have joined the revelers at Dickens during each of its 35 years, many people have returned year after year, making the festival an indispensable part of their holiday observances.

"We're depending upon them to do the same thing this year," Wade said.

"Everybody's in it together."

Tickets and complete information about Dickens on The Strand are available at www.dickensonthestrand.org. Tickets are also available at 110 Houston/Galveston area Kroger food stores.

For more information about Galveston Historical Foundation, visit www.galvestonhistory.org.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT: Dickens on the Strand


WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7


WHERE: Historic downtown Galveston


TICKETS: www.dickensonthestrand.org


« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 07:45:25 AM by Zardoz »
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Offline Taarna

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2008, 10:07:41 PM »
Who all is planning to attend this year? Myself and my mother will be there with the wee lad in tow.
A chill in the air, over your shoulder, the Ice Queen's cold stare, you can only be one place. The Texas Ren Faire!

Offline Zardoz

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 10:30:54 PM »
Mrs.Zardoz and I never miss Dickens, we'll be out bright and early Saturday morning!
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Offline Taarna

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2008, 07:33:03 AM »
I think we may have seen you both last year. Last year was our first year in attendance and we enjoyed it tremendously!

Enjoyed some time with one of the soldiers that was camped. Oh they were all so gracious!



Isn't anyone else attending this year?  Var?? Speak up folks! It's getting close!
A chill in the air, over your shoulder, the Ice Queen's cold stare, you can only be one place. The Texas Ren Faire!

Offline Melissandra

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 08:10:44 PM »
I won't be able to make it this year.  I just got a new job and work weekends.  I don't think it would be a good idea to ask for one off so soon   :-[

Offline DameNoir

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2008, 05:06:20 PM »
I've been volunteering with GHF to spread the word out, and have been sending emails to various groups asking them to mention the event. After speaking to folks (including at TRF) that were unaware that Dickens is returning this year, it seems like we have a lot more ground to cover in getting the word out.

Really hoping to see a large group have fun in the Strand, after a tough year!

Patience

Dickens on the Strand's Facebook Group - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=30133334129


« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 05:07:00 PM by DameNoir »

Offline Zardoz

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2008, 10:51:44 AM »
Everyone that is going to Dickens, any ideas on a meeting time / place for us?  Mrs.Zardoz was down there last week, and the Treemont House as well as most of the pubs in the Strand district that one might have suggested for a meetup seem to be closed or otherwise out of action. 

Off the top of my head, and not knowing what the full entertainment schedule is, I'd say lets meet at 1 PM by the square at Strand and 23rd, where they have the opening ceremony and costume contest etc., in front of the Fuddruckers, (which I don't think is open either) on both days. what do you think?

Is there anyone more familiar with the situation in that area??  Please let us know!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 12:03:30 PM by Zardoz »
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Offline DameNoir

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2008, 11:35:42 AM »
Zardoz, the faire will be my first time down since before the storm, but I will see what I can find out about operational pubs. I do know of a couple of artists that will be there, Windnwyre and the Bilge Pumps, and I'm supposed to get a full list of performers later today. I will share it as soon as I know it.

Offline DameNoir

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2008, 01:23:03 PM »
Tickets are still available for Dickens guests, in costume or otherwise, to enjoy hand-bell concerts at Texas’ oldest German Catholic Curch building; English Country breakfasts at the Ashton Villa Ballroom (back in service after Ike’s flooding); the lavish Traditional Dickens Feast at the Garten Verein dancing pavilion on Friday, and candlelight tours of the Island’s most significant 19th –century mansions.

Advance tickets to these events are required, and may be purchased on line at www.dickensonthestrand.org. This year’s lineup of special events is as follows.

Traditional Dickens Feast

7 p.m. Friday, December 5
1880 Garten Verein, 2704 Avenue O
$65 per person (open seating)
reserved table for eight: $600; for ten: $750
Feast on fine food and enjoy a cheerful evening in the festive atmosphere of the 1880 Garten Verein German dancing pavilion. Queen Victoria and her entourage head the table, and, between courses, readings from A Christmas Carol will be presented by New York actor Al Hyslop. Reservations are required, and must be made by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3.

Approximate length: 3 hours.

English Country Breakfasts

9 a.m. Saturday, December 6
10 a.m. Sunday, December 7
1859 Ashton Villa Ballroom, 2328 Broadway
$25 per person
Begin a Dickens of a day with a hearty English Country Breakfast served in the ballroom of Ashton Villa, Galveston’s famous restored antebellum mansion. Restoration tours of this grand home’s first floor are included. Reservations required, and must be made by 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 4.

Approximate length: 1 1/2 hours.

Christmas by Candlelight

5, 6 and 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 6
1838 Menard House, 1605 33rd Street
$10 per person
Reservations required.
Galveston’s oldest home, the Michel B. Menard House, was built in 1838 by one of Galveston’s founding fathers. The dining room of this grand Greek revival home will be set for a special caroling party as might have been held there in 1850. Costumed guides conduct tours, seasonal music is performed and holiday refreshments are served.

Approximate length: 1 hour.

Holiday Handbell Concerts

5:30 and 7 p.m.
Friday, December 5
1859 St. Joseph Church, 2202 Avenue K
$5 per person
Reservations required.
Enjoy the sounds of the holiday season in a historic gothic revival church built in 1859. The oldest German Catholic Church in Texas and the oldest wooden church building in Galveston, St. Joseph’s was built by German immigrants and dedicated in April, 1860. The delicately painted sanctuary offers a serene setting for the playing of classic holiday carols by traditional handbell choirs.

Approximate length: 45 minutes.

1892 Bishop's Palace Holiday Tour

Saturday, December 6
5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Located at 1402 Broadway
$12 per person.
Reservations required.
A special tour with music of the 1892 Bishop's Palace, designated one of 100 most outstanding buildings in the United States by the American Institute of Architects. Approximate length: 1 hour.

Group Tours

Reservations for groups of 20 or more require a 25 percent deposit paid at time of reservation. Additional reservations can be added, if space is available, with additional deposit paid at time of added reservation. All reservations require full payment at time of reservation. For Group Tour reservations or information, please contact Jami Durham (409) 765-7834.

Festival Tickets

Group Advance Price: Advance Price for groups of 20 or more: One-day ticket: $8 ($12 day of the event).

Individual Advance Price, no minimum number: One-day ticket: $10 ($12 day of the event).

Tickets are available on line and at all area Kroger Food Stores.

Tickets are half price at the gate for those in Victorian-era costumes.

Offline DameNoir

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2008, 11:56:47 AM »
As far as the pubs and other meeting places for Rennies to get together, I checked, and it is true that most of the restaurants have not reopened. There's a full list of what businesses have reopened on the Galvnews.com website, but even that doesn't include some additional businesses I've spoken to (mostly B&Bs). There are, however, six temporary "Pubs" along the Strand (Pub 1, Pub 2, etc.) and one "CoffeePub", diagonally across from the Architectural Treasure Hunt.

PERFORMERS LIST (I apologize in advance for any typos or changes later on!)

1st Baptist Church Tomball Handbells  (Saturday)
The American Spirit Singers
Atascocita HS Strolling Strings (Sunday)
Atascocita Madrigal Singers  (Saturday)
Austin Girls Choir (Saturday)
Bayou City Pipe and Drums
The Bilge Pumps
Brian Wendling Comedy (Saturday)
Brian Wendling Juggling (Sunday)
Campbell and Wilson Celtic Music
Crosby A Cappella Choir (Saturday)
Curmudgeon
Darryl Cleveland
Elison HS Chamber Singers
Gift of Christmas Players
Hugh Morrison and Friends (Sunday)
James Upshaw and Steve Heiser
Joyful Sounds Chorus
Klein Forest HS Choir (Saturday)
Lamar Puppet Theatre
Lynne and Foxx
Magical Mystical Michael
McMeans JH Choir (Saturday)
Merrie Mary Show
The Merrie Waits of Windsor
Mysto the Magician
Norm Swartz Banjo Player
Pearland HS Kantorei (Saturday)
Professor Humbug’s Flea Circus
Renaissance Kids (Saturday)
“Rising Tide” Antley Family
The Rogues
Ruth Abigail
Sartartia Middle School Choir (Sunday only)
“Sound Principle” Bay Area Christian
St. Thomas Episcopal Pipe Band
Take Note Choir Girl Scouts (Sunday only)
Temple HS Polyfonics
Thom Sellectomy
Trinity School Glee Club (Saturday)
Westminster Bellphonics
Wyndnwyre (Sunday only)


Offline Messyn McCleavage

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2008, 12:50:27 PM »

 I'd say lets meet at 1 PM by the square at Strand and 23rd, where they have the opening ceremony and costume contest etc., in front of the Fuddruckers, (which I don't think is open either) on both days. what do you think?



Sounds easy enough, I vote for that as a meeting place, especially since it's not certain which businesses are open.
Gneonach Gnomie - SW Houston, TX

Offline Zardoz

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2008, 09:09:02 AM »

 I'd say lets meet at 1 PM by the square at Strand and 23rd, where they have the opening ceremony and costume contest etc., in front of the Fuddruckers, (which I don't think is open either) on both days. what do you think?



Sounds easy enough, I vote for that as a meeting place, especially since it's not certain which businesses are open.

We'll see you there! As usual, I'll be the guy in the kilt  ;)
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Offline Taarna

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Re: Dickens on the Strand Galveston
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2008, 12:30:29 PM »
Link to the entertaiment schedule and locations (what stage and what days)

http://www.galvestonhistory.org/2008press/DOTSSchedule.pdf

WindnWyre
is scheduled at 5:00pm on Saturday
A chill in the air, over your shoulder, the Ice Queen's cold stare, you can only be one place. The Texas Ren Faire!

Offline Zardoz

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A few Dickens photos;
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2008, 06:39:40 PM »
Dickens on the Strand was a little smaller event this year in the aftermath of hurricane Ike, but a really good crowd came out to see the sights and support the Galveston community. Keep in mind that the streets you see here were under 8 to 12 feet of seawater during Ike's storm surge.


Shelley (MrsZardoz) and I,  BTW Shelley's dress was made by her mother out of an old bridesmaid's dress.




here we are with our friend Sandy, who took most of the photos



Ello,Ello, what's all this then??



My girls trying to explain to these beer drinking bobbys that they are not 'ladies of the evening' it's 10 AM!



St. Nick


One of the many well turned out ladies, Those of us who like to dress for the event made an extra effort this year.


Zardoz finds were the beer comes from !!



 Some of Mr.Dickens characters..


Santa !
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 08:13:33 PM by Zardoz »
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Offline Zardoz

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A few more....
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2008, 08:17:18 PM »

Some pipers from St.Thomas school earning a little extra cash, many of the performers waived their fees this year.




I make new friends, this fellow had lots of questions about my outfit. My "Kilt Info" sheets come in handy!


HM Queen Victoria makes her progress.


Putting Shelley back together after some hat shopping.



A nice day brings out a pretty good crowd.
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