Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Charles Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson

December 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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Port Jefferson is an enticing destination during the warmer months, but it’s also appealing to stroll around this seaside village in nippy weather while sipping a warm beverage and soaking in festive holiday cheer.  As if even more incentive was necessary to visit, characters will be reenacting Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in December.

As it commemorates its 20th Charles Dickens Festival, Port Jefferson is adding events and extending the merriment as visitors enjoy decorated streets and shops, Victorian entertainment, and food.  Allan Varela, chair of the Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, says that there are so many community centers involved this year that almost every building within the village will be utilized for the festival.

On December 5 and 6, 150 actors, dressed in 1850s garb, will bring Dickens’ Christmas Carol to life and immerse the village in that Victorian age. The Port Jefferson Public Free Library will be screening the movie A Christmas Carol and sharing festival history. Festival attendees may choose a favorite read or find something new to purchase from the library’s shelves of gently used books.  At The Cottage, located next to the library, a train exhibit and a parlor inspired by Dickens are on display.

Many of the 160 events during the main weekend are offered at little or no cost, as local officials and vendors want to make sure that there’s plenty left over in your holiday shopping budget for gifts and goodies.

Kids who want to see if they are on Santa’s nice list may get a hint dropping into Santa’s Workshop to see what his helpers are doing, then stopping by Cookie Land, where everything’s nice! In the Artisan Square, crafters will be recreating various trade arts from the 1850s including spinning, weaving, and metal forging.

charles dickens 2Holiday musical performances will be offered in abundance throughout the first weekend of December.  And visitors may embark on an enchanted lantern-lit house tour of historical homes in the area on the second weekend of the month.

Boaters will enjoy dropping into Bayles Boat Shop at Harborfront Park. This unique boat shop, built and run by volunteers, is offering made-to-order hand-crafted masterpieces. Elizabeth Ann Arink, Bayles board president, encourages all to come watch as the magic unfolds on Saturday mornings throughout the month.

Let there be light! With projections of classic Christmas carols and the hit film Frozen, the front windows of Village Hall will be brought to life in special shows the first three weekends of the month between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.

Other activities include a festival of trees, a parade, and performances including Hanukkah music.

In Varela’s words, “A splendid time is guaranteed for all!”

Events and schedules are subject to change. For more information and to confirm activities, visit http://www.portjeff.com/, http://www.portjefflibrary.org, www.facebook.com/PortJeffDickensFest, www.gpjac.org, www.lisec.org, and http://portjeffchamber.com/.

By Rebecca Hoey

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Past festival videos and additional photos


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