The Ladies' Tea Guild

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in California

Queen Victoria with Mr. Fezziwig at at Fezziwig's Warehouse.
After spending a few weeks doing research and a couple of days frantically sewing, trying to "update"/improve my costume, I attended the Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild meeting at the Dickens Fair yesterday. There were a lot of people in costume, which is always fun to see; I saw a few shows including some Middle Eastern dancing, Morris dancing, traditional Celtic dancing, and Victorian ballroom dancing, and had tea at Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe with several other ladies from the Guild. Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and some of their court also appeared at Fezziwig's Warehouse and led the ballroom through several dances, which was fun. I also caught the very beginning of the costume contest (then had to hurry off to keep my appointment with the ladies for tea) and there were some really neat costumes, including some really sweet little tiny girls. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get very many clear pictures from the day, so you'll only see a few posted here.

They say that the venue, The Cow Palace in Daly City, CA, is going to be sold and the land developed for housing or something soon. The Dickens Fair would have to find another venue in order to continue to open each year, which is a difficult thing to do for such a large event. I was glad to be there this year since it might be the last year of the Dickens Fair! The website is for more information. The Fair will run two more weekends in 2008, if anyone can visit. It is a really fun experience!

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)