The Great Dickens Christmas Fair’s “Drive Thru Dickens’ London” Opening Day
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Cow Palace | 2600 Geneva Ave, Daly City, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
Despite the necessity to cancel its customary incarnation of Victorian London within the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, Red Barn Productions has found a way to bring The Great Dickens Christmas Fair into your car, into your home, and under your tree this holiday season. For three weekends, beginning Saturday, December 4 through Sunday, December 19, fans of this beloved holiday tradition will have three ways to experience the Fair’s well-known Dickensian delights in 2021.
New this year, Drive Thru Dickens’ London will offer a taste of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair from the comfort of your car. Designed as a safe way to enjoy many of the Fair’s famous foods and shop for select handcrafted gifts, the event will feature multiple tableaux from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol along with two stages of continuous live music, dance, and comedy.
“While we weren’t able to produce our traditional Dickens Christmas Fair inside the Cow Palace this year, we decided to serve up Dickensian fun around the exterior of our beloved venue. It’s a whimsically ‘inside out’ experience with some fun surprises,” says Fair co-producer Kevin Patterson.
For $25 per vehicle, a car full of friends and family will encounter Dickensian street scenes as they travel around the exterior of the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, where an enticing selection of hearty English foods, ales, and ciders, as well as nonalcoholic beverages, will be available for purchase at an outdoor version of the Fair’s Grand Concourse.
Entertainments will include Fair favorites such as Paddy West’s singing sailors, the lovable London Chimney Sweeps, Victorian Bobbies (aka Peelers), and many more on hand to entertain and delight. Tickets go on sale November 1.
Drive-Thru Dickens’ London will also feature a selection of handmade goods perfect for holiday gift-giving. Children’s painting sets of clay figures and ornaments, Fairy House building kits, hand-dipped candles, fine soaps, hand-blown glass ornaments, traditional rum cakes, celebrated English Christmas Pudding, and more, can be purchased and delivered along with attendees’ food orders.
Fair producers will also be reprising Dickens Fair At Home, the popular online presentation first launched in 2020 of Yuletide videos, traditional recipes, and craft activities as well as readings from Mr. Dickens and Father Christmas. New Dickens Fair at Home features will be posted each weekend beginning Saturday, December 4.
Last but not least, the dickensfair.com website will also feature a Shop Online portal to many of the Fair’s craftspeople. “Our marvelous artists have lost the majority of their shows once again this year, but many have continued to create their fantastic works of art and make them available online,” says Fair co-producer and vendor manager Leslie Patterson. “When you shop online and buy directly from the artists, you help them survive until live shows return.”
Fair producers are excited to present this new interpretation of a Bay Area tradition and provide an opportunity for caterers, craftspeople, and performers to generate income. However, next year, a return of the in-person Great Dickens Christmas Fair is planned for Saturdays, Sundays, and the Friday after Thanksgiving from November 19 through December 18, 2022.
Drive Thru Dickens’ London
Saturdays & Sundays, December 4-19, 2021, 11am-5pm
The Cow Palace Lower Exhibition Halls; 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City, CA
$25 per vehicle (includes all vehicle occupants) – Advance purchase only