Monday, December 6, 2010

galveston turns retro victorian

Once again, I must conclude that I live under a rock.  Has anyone, ANYONE, ever heard of Dickens on the Strand?  According to the Galveston Historical Foundation's website, Dickens on the Strand is an annual tradition that brings the charm of Victorian London at Christmastime to the city of Galveston, Texas.  It's the major fundraiser for the Historical Foundation and, apparently, one of the most popular events in the nation.

Either their website exaggerates or I am way out of touch with most things that go on in the world, because I have never heard of this festival, now in its 37th year.  Then again, not having a TV or reading the newspaper regularly doesn't help my knowledge of current events.  My eighth grade GOAL teacher would not be proud- her weekly current events tests obviously made no impression on me.

Dickens on the Strand sounds pretty awesome.  Who wouldn't want to attend this family-oriented event, that displays Victorian London in all of its idealized glory for young and old?  Who wouldn't want to meet Queen Victoria or wave to Tiny Tim, dress up like a Victorian and sing 19th century Christmas carols with scores of others and RIDE ELEPHANTS!

This year, however, the event took an interesting twist on the Victorian world: it went steampunk.  According to the Galveston County paper, The Daily News, the steampunk theme:
...helped draw one of the biggest crowds in the event’s 37 year history, the event’s organizer said.

“We won’t know for another week, but it’s clearly one of our better years, up (to more than) 30,000 people attended,” Dwayne Jones, the executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation said.
Check out this mechanical Mad Hatter from the event:

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