Famed Dickens Festival Returns This Week at New Venue

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
2 Min Read

Dickens Festival Returns

JURUPA VALLEY (CNS) – The schedule for the celebrated Riverside Dickens Festival was confirmed Friday, featuring a range of entertainment at an all-new venue in Jurupa Valley, where a museum property will be converted to Victorian-era London, reflective of author Charles Dickens’ life and times.

The 31st annual event will be presented Feb. 24-25 at the Jensen Alvarado Historic Ranch & Museum, near Flabob Airport.

The decision to relocate the event from its traditional place along the Main Street pedestrian mall, between Mission Inn Avenue and 11th Street, in Riverside was cost-driven, according to published reports.

Organizers said setting up security barriers and cordoning off streets required paying ever-escalating municipal fees that the fest couldn’t afford. The Alvarado Historic Ranch & Museum, part of the Riverside County Park & Open Space District, offered a more economical option for the celebration.

The schedule for both Saturday, Feb. 24, and Sunday, Feb. 25, will feature a “Victorian Fashion Show,” the “Brothers’ Grimm Fairytales,” replica art of Vincent Van Gogh, the “History of Mother Goose,” a “Les Follies Rouge Can-Can Show” and a “Tea and Strumpets Musical Comedy.”

The fest’s popular “Authors’ Salon” will be back, with the works of Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Sir Richard Burton and others read aloud.

Toward the end of each day there will be “Knighting Ceremonies” presided over by Queen Victoria and her royal retinue.

Merchants sell food and wares reminiscent of a 19th century London bazaar, interspersed with caroling and dancing.

The fest was nearly nixed completely in February 2021 amid the coronavirus lockdowns, but organizers managed to throw together a virtual presentation featuring profiles of Dickens’ stories and other entertainment online.

In-person activities returned in February 2022.

The fest regularly features theatrical performances, pageants, music, speeches, historical recreations and children’s activities.

More information is available at dickensfest.com/.

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Dickens Festival Returns
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