Last year, after the all-round drenching and destruction that the Strand Historic Landmark District in Galveston took on in Hurricane Ike, the annual presentation of the Dickens on the Strand was a shadow of its former self.
Three months wasn't nearly enough time to recover from all the wind and water, but local residents rallied anyhow whether for love of tradition or tourist dollars (or both) and put on a show anyhow to keep the string alive.
This year, the 36th, the Galveston Historical Foundation has announced, it will return the show to its former days of glory and once again be, full-scale. That means on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6, all manner of Victorian-garbed creatures will be walking a 10-block area along Strand and Mechanic streets.
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New events planned for this year include Victorian bed races and an exhibit from the Charles Dickens Museum in London. The exhibit will be escorted here by one Henry Dickens Hawksley, a member of the museum's board of directors and Charles Dickens' great-great grandson.
There is also the promised return of Pickwick's Lantern Parade -- all 400 of the kerosene lanterns were lost last year in floodwaters -- well, promised in the sense that the Galveston Historical Foundation is looking for donations to pay for new ones.
Dickens on the Strand is the number one fund-raising event of the year for the Historic Foundation which works to preserve Galveston's many (though fewer after Ike) historic buildings. It's a chance to play dress up, put on a fake British accent, and spread some money around for a good cause.