Franklin’s Main Street will recall the spirit of Christmases past when the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County throws its annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14. This year the event marks its 30th anniversary, and will feature both time-honored activities that have become perennial favorites, as well as a few new traditions in the making.

Much of what folks from Franklin and beyond associate with Dickens of a Christmas will return for the 2014 event, including:

Franklin’s Main Street and its beautiful Victorian architecture decked out for the holiday season and closed to vehicle traffic from Second Avenue to Fifth Avenue.   Some 200 characters, dancers and entertainers in the street, including several from Charles Dickens’ stories interacting with the public. Expect to see the nefarious Fagin from Oliver Twist; Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim Cratchit with his parents from A Christmas Carol; and of course, a Victorian Father and Mother Christmas with treats for children.   Sugar plums and roasted chestnuts being sold on the street, much like they were during the Victorian era.  Street vendors selling old English fare, including bangers and mash (grilled sausages & mashed potatoes); Somerset Sausage Rolls (sausage-filled pastries); shepherd’s pies; fish ‘n chips; and Yorkshire “toasties” (spicy sausage, hamburger and cheese mixture on rye bread).

A variety of musical performances on both the stage at City Hall and at various locations on the street.  Horse-drawn carriage rides on the Public Square.  A holiday arts and crafts bazaar featuring more than 70 vendors along Main Street.

A town sing of classic Christmas carols on the Public Square to end the event on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

There will be several new additions to the festival this year, including: The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County-organizers of the event, guarantee  snow on Main Street for Dickens of a Christmas!   Perfect opportunity for a family photo.

A costume contest for folks dressed as a character from any Charles Dickens story or in Victorian attire. Categories for children, adults, and groups.

Dickens of a Christmas will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 14. The event is free and open to the public; some attractions will involve a small fee. More information and a schedule of events will be available at www.historicfranklin.com.

Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant and Puckett’s Boat House are major sponsors of the 2014 event. Others interested in sponsorship opportunities may contact Krista Dial at kdial@historicfranklin.com or 615-591-8500 ext. 17.

Producing Dickens of a Christmas is just one of the many activities of The Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County. Since 1967 the non-profit group has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Williamson County’s historic, architectural and geographic resources; in short, saving the places that matter.

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Donna Vissman
Donna is one of those former corporate types (Xerox) who wanted to try something new. She went from marketing to blogger and now Style Editor, and is always on the look out for what’s trending in restaurants, new stores, charity events and entertainment. To keep up the pace, Donna is usually found drinking at least one Cold Brew coffee a day or on a busy day make it two.