Just as Santa Claus works all year to monitor little boys and girls…Santa’s helpers at the Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio work all-year to prep for one of Ohio’s crowning holiday events.
Droves of volunteers spend 10 months of the year restoring and prepping 186 life-sized Dickens-era figurines to welcome guests for two months during the winter season.
Through January 4, 2014, downtown Cambridge in Guernsey County is transformed into a Dickens-era holiday scene. As you stroll throughout the streets with hot coco in hand, you feel as if you have walked through a time capsule. With snow on the ground you actually feel like you are part of a Christmas scene on top of someone’s fireplace.
The 88 holiday scenes feature iconic characters like Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and Father Christmas. Some scenes depict old-world England with carolers, school children and lamplighters.
The displays are found at each lamppost and bench along Wheeling Avenue (National Road/Route 40). And, don’t forget to look up as you walk through downtown --you might just find a few mannequins enjoying the winter fun from the second-story windows of local businesses.
New this year, Dickens Victorian Village is hosting themed weekends with activities surrounding each theme. The remaining weekends include: Home for the Holidays (November 29-31), It’s a Wonderful Life (December 6-8), Victorian Arts Faire (December 13-15), Family Traditions Weekend (December 20-22) and Sherlock Holmes Weekend (January 3-5).
There’s also an opportunity for YOU to become one of the Dickens characters through a raffle held at the Dickens Welcome Center. Winners of the “Picture Your Face” raffle will be drawn this January. A local artist will sculpt the winning faces for next year’s displays. Raffle tickets are $1 (or 6 for $5). Proceeds benefit the Dickens Victorian Village project.
Local artists invest great care in restoring the mannequins each year after the long Ohio winter. Each face is hand-painted, and each mannequin is carefully dressed in authentic period clothing. Few Ohio events instill the holiday spirit like the Dickens Victorian Village. For just a few hours you can enjoy the real-life feeling of the iconic winter moments made so famous by the decorations on the mantle.