All who are dressed in Victorian apparel are invited to take part in the strolls. Meet at the Deane Center’s outdoor stage on Central Avenue. The strolls will begin at the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue, proceed three blocks to the Main Street and East Avenue intersection, and then return to the starting point.
Following each one, the Fezziwigs and their entourage will encourage strollers and others to join them in performing the glorious Sir Roger de Coverley, the English folk dance the Fezziwigs do every Christmas Eve at the culmination of their party.
Throughout the day, the Fezziwigs will mingle with pedestrians and host various novelties (skits and entertainment) up and down Main Street. A rousing rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" will be sung with audience participation.
Information about the first Dickens Best Dressed Contest sponsored by Wellsboro Home Page will be given out to those who participate in the 10 a.m. stroll and at the Dickens Information Booth outdoors in front of Café 1905 at Dunham’s Department Store.
At noon on Dec. 3, anyone dressed in Dickens attire can register for the first Dickens Best Dressed Contest at the Deane Center's outdoor stage area on Central Avenue. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. The winner will receive a Longaberger basket filled with gifts from Wellsboro merchants and a custom-made hat from Christine A. Moore Millinery of New York City. The winner will also be invited to join the Fezziwigs in leading the 2 p.m. stroll. For more information about the contest or to pre-register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-723-7703.
In addition to participating in the Victorian Strolls and the Dickens Best Dressed Contest, those who do dress in costume on Dickens Saturday, Dec. 3 are welcome to stroll Main, Crafton and Waln streets any time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. when vendor booths are open. Those three streets will be closed to motor vehicles and open to pedestrians only.
“One of the truly wonderful and unique aspects of Dickens of a Christmas is the number of people who dress in Victorian clothing and walk the streets interacting with each other and the crowd,” said Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie VanNess. This is the 33rd year the Chamber has hosted the event.
“We’re hoping more people will join in the festivities by becoming a Victorian character on Saturday," VanNess said. "The strolls and contest are opportunities for our community and visitors to enter into the spirit of Dickens Day.”
For more information about the strolls or for ideas on how to create a costume, call the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce at 570-724-1926.