“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
If you know what that iconic quote is from, then you’re sure to love the 2014 Riverside Dickens Festival!
The festival will take place on February 22 and 23 in downtown Riverside. This exciting event highlights the collected works of Charles Dickens and features over 150 performers dressed in Victorian-era costumes, portraying characters from his novels. Admission to the festival is free, but the value of creating new memories will be worth much more! Kids are sure to love Oliver’s Alley, which will feature a free children’s area with Victorian games, crafts, storytelling, dress-up photos, and tea parties. The event’s site touts musical acts including “sea shanties, harmony singers, and bawdy belles.” If that isn’t enough, waltz lessons and youth drama contests are available for the curious participant or audience member. There will also be a marketplace with vendors to meet your every need—from costumes, household goods, and Victorian sheet music to period-specific scientific equipment.
The action continues with a replica military parade, exhibitions of a fully-operational Gatling gun, and even an opportunity to meet the era’s namesake, Queen Victoria. The Riverside Dickens Festival would not be complete without food and drink: pints at the pub and traditional foods at the dining house will be available for purchase, of course!
Pickwick’s Pub Night kicks off the gala on Friday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Life Arts Center. The Dickens Festival starts in earnest on Saturday, February 22 between University Avenue and 10th Street on the Main. The Opening Ceremony, featuring Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of Riverside’s Historic Courthouse. For more information about the Riverside Dickens Festival, visit its web site at http://www.dickensfest.com/, or call (951) 781-3168.