With touches of Dickens’ legacy throughout the Byers’ Choice workshop, gift emporium and Christmas museum, the Chalfont, Pa. company headquarters will grow into an all-out Dickensian epicenter to make guests feel like they’ve taken a trip back to London in the 1800s.
“Charles Dickens has been an inspiration in so many of our Caroler designs, it’s only fitting we honor him this year with a full weekend dedicated to his 200th birthday,” Joyce Byers, founder, designer and mom of Byers’ Choice said.
The weekend of events will be backed with live performances, Dickens-themed activities, Byers’ Choice workshop tours and more, to ensure everyone will have ‘the best of times’.
- Mr. Dickens is Coming (Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16, 10:30 a.m.) – The one-hour light-hearted and varied look at the life and character of Charles Dickens encompasses scenes from the great author’s work, diary and relationships. Cost: $15
- “A Victorian Christmas” by the Magic Lantern (Saturday, Sept. 16, noon and 1 p.m.) – Enjoy a type of film that’s the forerunner to motion pictures, with a Magic Lantern show. “A Victorian Christmas” will be projected on a full-sized screen by this early type of image projector developed in the 17th century. Scrooge, Santa, animated comedy and carols will all be dramatized on the screen by a live showman and singer/pianist. Charles Dickens himself used to enjoy these same shows http://www.magiclanternshows.com. Cost: $5
- “Sikes & Nancy” (Saturday, Sept. 15, 2:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 16, 1:30 p.m.) – Gerald Dickens will perform “Sikes & Nancy,” the story that is the most notorious reading from the classic “Oliver Twist,” depicting the horrific murder of Nancy by Bill Sikes. Cost $15
- Unlacing the Victorian Woman (Sunday, Sept. 16, noon and 3 p.m.) –Barbara Darlin will perform “Unlacing the Victorian Woman,” a living history lecture about the private life of fashionable Victorian women. The performance gives a personal and entertaining account of what life was like for women of the Victorian era. Darlin is a Victorian era enthusiast, as well as a seamstress who creates all of the costumes worn in her production. Cost: $8
Other events throughout the weekend include a Fezziwig Ball complete with all the fixings on Saturday; Punch and Judy puppet shows; fortunetellers; a meet-and-greet with Byers’ Choice founder Joyce Byers; as well as opportunities for guests to design their own Caroler figurine. In addition, Byers’ Choice has commissioned famed local artist, James Florentino, to paint a commemorative portrait of Charles Dickens, which will be unveiled during the Byers’ Choice Dickens Celebration.
Byers’ Choice is also releasing all of the Carolers in its “A Christmas Carol” line, available throughout this year in honor of Dickens. The 12-piece set includes unique Carolers, handmade to replicate Scrooge, Tiny Tim and even Marley’s Ghost. In addition, a Charles Dickens Caroler was also created to mark this important year. All of the figurines will be available to purchase at the Byers’ Choice Gift Emporium throughout the weekend.
Thousands are expected to attend the celebration and space is limited. For a full list of scheduled events or to purchase advanced tickets, please visit www.byerschoice.com.
Byers' Choice Christmas Museum and gift emporium is located at 4355 County Line Road Chalfont. The museum may be reached at 215-822-6700
Information courtesy of Byers' Choice/Allie Artur