The history of ‘Dickens on the Strand,’ one of Texas' beloved holiday traditions

PHOTO COURTESY:  Galveston Historical Foundation, Illumine Photographic Services
PHOTO COURTESY: Galveston Historical Foundation, Illumine Photographic Services

As the holidays approach, we’re reflecting on the traditions and events beloved by Texans.

For several years, Galveston’s Christmas festival Dickens on the Strand has been a big hit during the holiday season, drawing crowds of more than 35,000, according to Galveston Historical Foundation.

The festival was established in 1974 and has continued annually, occurring during the first week of December.

“This annual holiday tradition is an important community event that gives us the opportunity to welcome the holiday season each year,” Galveston Historical Foundation’s Executive Director Dwayne Jones said.

Dickens on the Strand is a 19th-century Victorian-themed festival that brings visitors back to the Charles Dickens era.

The event allows attendees to experience the architecture, sights, and sounds of a Victorian holiday.

Visitors can also enjoy parades, entertainment on five stages, carolers, and more.

In response to COVID-19, this year’s festivities have been altered in an effort to practice social distancing and will be held at five locations, or ‘squares,’ across Galveston.

“Our goal for 2020 is to offer an experience, while modified within current public health guidelines, constructed as a safe and congenial environment to enjoy our traditional festival and special events,” Jones said.

Dickens on The Squares is set to take place Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 - 6.

Tickets will be available for online purchase beginning Saturday, Oct. 31.

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