The Charles Dickens Festival in Port Jefferson is back for a 25th year after being canceled in 2020.
Taking attendees back in time to the Victorian era and the world of the beloved author, the two-day event draws in thousands of people from across the world. The 2021 festival kicks off Saturday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5.
“It’s a celebration of joy for so many people,” said Allan Varela, board chair of the Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, which runs the event in partnership with the Village of Port Jefferson.
“We are thrilled to have this back and I think the families are going to have a lot of fun,” he added.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions last year, the festival was replaced by mini-holiday events. But Varela said that this year the celebration is back in full swing.
GreaterPortJeff has rounded up some of the event’s highlights. Here’s what you should know before attending.
• The event’s grand opening parade happens Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. on East Main Street.
• Many festival favorites returning — including ice skating at Harborfront Park and magic shows by The Great Wizard of the North.
• Oliver Twist’s Artisan Square features skilled craftspeople demonstrating how handcrafted works were made during Victorian England.
• The Harbor Master’s building on West Broadway will house Tiny Tim’s Train Station (a spot for Toys-for-Tots donations).
• There will be a series of street plays and caroling groups, and street characters will roam about during the festival.
• Click here to reserve a time slot for a $2 horse and carriage ride at the Harborview Christian Church.
• Check out Theater Three’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” at the village center.
• Dickensian-inspired fare will on the menus of participating restaurants, as well as Dickensian-themed options for local holiday shopping.
• The Village Center will also be brimming with concerts and entertainment all weekend long, with shows like the “Christmas Carol Radio Show,” “Scrooge: The Inside Story by Mrs. Dilber,” and the lavishly decorated “Festival of Trees,” which will be on display the whole month of December.
• The First Methodist Chuch, Harborview Christian Church, and Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption are holding sing-a-longs and musical and choral performances.
Varela said both the opening and closing parades are going to be bigger than before and that the festival will end with the Pickwick’s Giant Puppet Parade.
“I think it’s quite the accomplishment that we’re able to continue such a beautiful festival,” said Barbara Ransome, director of operations at Port Jefferson chamber of commerce.
Continue to follow greaterportjeff.com for updates on this event.