Saturday, January 2, 2016

12 Days of Christmas: Day 8 - Dickens of a Christmas

After our lovely Pink Sunday Mass and a picnic lunch in the car, we made our way over to Franklin, Tennessee for their annual Charles Dickens Christmas Festival.

You may notice that Rosie is wearing an entirely different outfit.  She said that she had to wear pink to Mass for Pink Sunday but she had to wear Christmasy things to a Christmas party. 
I like the way she thinks.

Franklin Downtown is a lovely historic little city that does a wonderful job every year being Christmasy. It can get a bit crazy with the parking and the crowds. Actually it gets really crowded. BUT I'll tell you my secret. 
Go on Sunday while everyone else is in church and the crowds aren't so bad. We actually headed home just as it was getting crazy.

As soon as we made our way to the closed off part of the street we came across this man playing the water glasses. 
He was Amazing! 
He knew every song and played lovely Christmas music. 
I'm actually kind of sad I didn't buy his Christmas CD.

Then someone asked him to play Star Wars and he just whipped this out!
He was amazing.

I'm sorry I don't know what his name is... but I hope to find out next year.

The best part about the Franklin Christmas Festival is that it's a Charles Dickens theme and you can run into so many great characters. In fact, people are encouraged to dress in period costume.
 The kids got to meet Father Christmas and he gave us peppermints.

 There was also "snow" falling from the balcony of one of the old buildings. People were sitting on a bench under the balcony and taking pictures. 
We stood for a while and tried to catch the "snow," it was very fun.

 I also really love that there are a number of artisens demonstrating their craft.
There are all kinds of booths of hand made crafts and interesting gifts. You could get various unique things for everyone on your Christmas list. But I especially love the ones that have demonstrations of how they make their crafts. This girl was making wool yarn. 
There was also a few painters, a jewelry maker and a back smith. 
The black smith was fun and had a big crowd around him.

 The one thing I wanted to make sure we did was go on the horse drawn carriage ride. Rosie had seen them at the Gaylord and at the Main Street event near our house but we hadn't ridden one yet. So I wanted to take her on one. 
We were all very excited. We had a wonderful horse and an excellent driver. The line wasn't too long. The price wasn't high ($2 a person I think) and the people in the booth were wonderful.

Rosie really loved the house. She really wants a horse. This boy was SO big. His name was Maximillion. 

 I looked every where for mulled wine and roast chestnuts but couldn't find them. That was disappointing. When you go to a British themed Christmas event you want there to be mulled wine and chestnuts...maybe even some mince pies. 
We did find a stand that sold cinnamon candied hot nuts though and those were good.
We sat and ate them while Margaret danced to the Christmas music.

 Margaret loves music and she loves dancing. She seems to really love Christmas music too.  The stage had bands and choirs and even a few dancers that performed Christmas music. It was loud but Margaret really enjoyed it.

Since Rosie got to choose the horse carriage ride Obi wanted to ride the mini train. It was a cute little train. 
I think next year they should decorate the driving path with some festive decorations or a mini Christmas village, but the kids loved it and it was quite a long ride.

 As I mentioned before, there were characters wandering around all morning. Here Rosie got to meet some of the Dickens Dancers...

 Then we ran into all three of the Ghosts! 
That's the Ghost of Christmas Past in the white dress and the Ghost of Christmas Present is the man that looks like Santa. Of course the Reaper on is the Ghost of Christmas yet to come.

 These boys were our very favorite. They were setting up just as we were making our way back towards our car and we stopped and sat on the ground and watched them. They were not only wonderful players but they were so festive and dressed for the period.
 Rosie says she wants to learn the violin and Obi LOVES the tube. So it was just perfect that this group was a tuba and two violins.
The tube guy was amazing and he had his tuba decorated and covered with other little noise makers. The kids loved them. 

Margaret danced the whole time and Obi was all smiles. He really does love the tuba.

Our little sassy dancer.

Right before we left we saw the whole Cratchet Family. I thought that was fun and was able to tell the kids who they were. We watch various versions of A Christmas Carol every year so they thought it was neat that we met the Cratchets.

Here's a bonus picture of Margaret and Daddy being silly in Daddy's beanie hat after we got home.

The Franklin Dickens Festival is every year. This year it was on the 12th and 13th, a Saturday and Sunday. I recommend visiting the website and checking out the fun events they have planned on each day. 
If you have kids then do go early in the morning. We found Sunday worked really well for us. 
It's best to leave when it starts getting crazy crowded. 
There is a petting zoo and lots of fun snack food if you aren't allergic to everything like we are (we brought own own food and left it in a cooler in the car). 

I defiantly recommend trying this event out. I very much hope we all get Dickens period costumes some day and get to dress up. 
I think that would be a fun way to participate.

The highlights of this event is definitely the street performers. There were harpists and singers and fiddlers and dulcimer players and so much more. 
It was so festive and completely free.
(Unless you want snacks or to do some Christmas shopping.
You would have a great time finding really unique gifts here if you did you shopping here).

We just went for the Christmas spirit of the whole event.
We will be back again next year for sure.

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