Thursday, December 3, 2015

Things to Do: Dicken's Fair

Last year, we discovered a special gem here in California. This year, we were eager to return. After confirming that it truly was a gem, we're ready to share our account of the Dicken's Fair with you!

I was hanging out doing the Netflix thing one day last year while the wife fiddled on her computer. She randomly turned to me and said "this looks cool".  She vaguely described a fair resembling a renaissance fair, only set in a Charles Dickens style and time period. We packed up and caught the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) out to the Cow Palace and proceeded to have one of our most memorable experiences in California.

Needless to say, this year the excitement for the Dickens Fair was tangible and not ill placed. We even went as far as to dress up this year. Instantly after walking through the door, we were assaulted by the sweet aromas of roasted nuts, mulled wine, the great sounds of strange instruments and choirs, and the spirit of the fair.

The shops were decorated for Christmas just as described by Charles Dickens. The floors were even littered with traces of straw for that extra touch of authenticity. Ebenezer Scrooge popped up on various stages through the event, visited by his ghosts, and even went running through the crowds in jubilation after his last visit.

A group put on an excellent and light-hearted rendition of Pinocchio on one of the many stages scattered through the event. One of my personal favorites was The Sea Dogs (at least that was their name at the Renaissance Faire). They showed up as the Congress of Wonders and put on a truly amusing play with a plot centered around amusing the audience. Really - that was the plot!

I was slightly disappointed that the acapella group Brass Farthing wasn't there on the day we went, but they may be there later on in the festival. One of the greatest things about this fair was the prices - even the drinks weren't overpriced for a fair. The hot spiced mead, egg nogg (with or without brandy), and my personal favorite, their mulled wine, are true treats. One of the saddest things, for me, about leaving the Bay Area is that we will be unable to turn this epic fair into a holiday tradition.


  1. Oh this sounds like so much fun! We are loving all the fairs the U.S. has to offer, you guys think of everything :)

  2. That sounds so awesome! I love Ren Fairs but the thought of a Charles Dickens-esque festival sounds amazing!

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun-kinda like the war reenactments, I'll take the mulled wine thank you! :) It'd be a LOT of fun to dress up though, I would enjot that part.