Dickens of a Christmas – Saturday & Sunday, December 8-9, 2012
Dickens of a Christmas brings entertaining weekend to Historic Downtown Franklin
It’s a 27-year holiday tradition in Historic Downtown Franklin on the second weekend in December to travel back in time about 150 years to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 8-9, 2012, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon 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.
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.
- 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.
- Everyone is invited to join the 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. Caroling commences down Main Street to Historic Presbyterian Church at 5 p.m., where the public is invited to join in caroling in the beautiful historic sanctuary at the corner of Fifth & Main.
Intersection of 4th & Main
1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Flat Creek Community Contra Dancers – 100 costumed dancers re-enact the dance scene from the Fezziwig Party.
2 p.m. The Morris Dancers perform a Cornish dance with swords and sticks from the mining communities of Cornwall.
Saturday – City Hall stage 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Battle Ground Academy Choral Group 11 a.m. – Westmeade Baptist Church, Decatur Al Noon - O’Brien Irish Dance Academy 1 p.m. - Kristin Butke School of Irish Dance 2 p.m. - Scott Ellis School of Irish Dance 3 p.m. - St. Philip Catholic Church Emisarios de Cristo 4 p.m – TBA
Sunday, Dec. 9 Noon - TBA 1 p.m. - David Hampton, keyboardist 2 p.m. - Harpeth Suzuki Strings 3 p.m. - TBA 4:30 - Town Sing, starting at the Main Stage on the Public Square and commencing to Historic Presbyterian Church at 5 p.m.
Historic Presbyterian Church at Five Points Saturday, Dec. 8 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – TRI-M Music Honor Society Chapter 2260 from FHS 11 a.m. to noon - Williamson County Youth Orchestra Small String Ensemble Noon to 1 p.m. – Eleganza Strings 1 to 3 p.m. Clearview Handbell Choir 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Eleganza Strings
Sunday Noon to 1 p.m. – Westhaven Carolers
1 to 3 p.m. – Clearview Handbell Choir
Main Street Musicians: 2 p.m. Saturday – Harpeth Suzuki Strings in front of Bob Parks Realty, Kili Walsh – Harpist, Abby Bobo – Harpist, Donal Himely – Water Harmonica Player
Additional Entertainment: The Town Sing starts at 4:30 at the Main Stage and strolls to Historic Presbyterian Church at Five Points at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate in this annual tradition of singing carols. $1 donation requested for candles and song sheets at the Square. 5 p.m. Caroling at Historic Presbyterian Church at Five Points. Public encouraged to participate.
Cornerstone Presbyterian Church Caroling Saturday, Dec 8 at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec 9 at 2 p.m.
Pulltight Players on 2nd Ave will have an open house at the theatre on 2nd Ave from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, with holiday refreshments and hot beverages courtesy of Just Love Coffee. Visitors can come inside and see the historic theatre and take a tour of the theatre and the set of It’s A Wonderful Life. At 2 p.m., Saturday, there will be a special performance of a selection of scenes from the show for visitors. The Women of St. Philip Catholic Church on East Main invite the public to a ‘Visit with Santa’ during A Dickens of a Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children will visit with Santa –you’re welcome to take your own photos. They will prepare a bag of ‘Reindeer Food’, decorate a cookie and make an ornament. Cost is $5 per child and proceeds benefit Liberty Elementary.
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.
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.