Dickens Festival

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By Chris Dietrich

By Chris Dietrich

Downtown Riverside became host to a Victorian Invasion Feb. 6 as the Riverside Dickens Festival paticipants pitched their tents and made their home just outside the Riverside Library. Characters from Dickens’ most memorable books came alive, walking the streets and conversing with passersby as the festival made its mark on Riverside.

The Dickens Festival celebrates the lifestyle of Charles Dickens, who lived in England during the Victorian Era. Period clothes, music and food were on display the entire weekend.

The Dickens Festival does not merely display British culture of the Victorian Era, but also the American culture of the era. Reenactors portraying Scottish and American military units paraded the streets, helping to enhance onlooker’s understanding of the period.

Charles Dickens himself made an apperance, portrayed by Charles Jaque, a theatre actor local to Riverside. “I was honored to be asked to play Dickens,” Jaque stated, as he welcomed guests and answered questions about Dickens’ life and works. Jaque was asked to portray a younger Dickens, rather than the an older Dickens in the twilight of his life that had previously been portrayed in the festival.

Other notable characters were Jacob Marley, from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Mr. Pickwick from “The Pickwick Papers,” and Miss Havisham from “Great Expectations.”

Other events at the Fare were the Open Pub Night at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium, Marlow’s Shadow and Christopher Yates’ comedy at the Grant Family Stage.

function openSlideShow3647(){window.open(slideshowpath + 3647,’selectUser’,config=’scrollbars=No,resizable=Yes’);}Click here for a Dicken’s Festival Slideshow

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