Back by popular demand … the annual Dickens Festival in downtown Medford!
MEDFORD-The Medford Sunrise Rotary Club will once again present the popular Dickens Festival on Saturday, Dec. 2 in downtown Medford. The family friendly event will take place from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and it promises to be a magical time for children and grown-ups alike. This will be the 28thconsecutive year that Main Street in Medford will be transformed into a quaint winter wonderland, featuring holiday festivities galore with an old-timey flair. The festival typically attracts more than 10,000 people from Medford and many surrounding communities. Locals never fail to catch up with old friends on the street; there's something for everyone!
Exciting things get underway around 5:45 p.m., when a parade heralded by the town crier transports Santa, Mrs. Claus and an elf or two to the gazebo in the center of the downtown Village (18 N. Main Street). Grand Marshal Ron Murphy of Murphy’s Market is once again the presenting sponsor of the Dickens Festival. The annual tree-lighting ceremony happens next, as town officials gather to turn the lights on at the township Christmas tree. Santa and Mrs. Claus will stay at the gazebo all evening long to greet children of all ages.
Visitors are invited to stroll along Main Street in Medford’s historic district, past lampposts and shops adorned with holiday decorations and twinkling lights. Carolers, many of them dressed in Dickens-era garb, will make their way up and down the street, entertaining the masses. Various musicians will perform favorite holiday tunes from porches along the way.
Many popular entertainers and activities will be offered once again, including pony rides, ice sculpting, outdoor movies, a moon bounce (with a “Frozen” theme), jugglers, stilt-walkers, a face painter and a town crier. Don’t be surprised to see Olaf from “Frozen” roaming the streets! The heart-warming Live Nativity will once again be on display at Tomlinson Park in front of the library.
New this year will be a Victorian Best Dressed contest, with $50 gift card prizes awarded to a man, a woman, a child – and a dog – wearing the best Dickens-era costume.
Plan to do some holiday shopping during the event, as a whole host of crafters and vendors will also be on hand, with unique gifts suitable for everyone on your list. Many new vendors will be here this year in addition to some favorites.
And, of course, plenty of delicious food and beverages will be available, provided by vendors arranged in food courts at the ends of the streets, allowing for easier flow and less generator noise.
While you’re in town, pick up your annual illuminated glass Christmas ornament at the Medford Sunrise Rotary table, and enjoy freebies and information from various local businesses.
Local radio stations B101-More FM radio and Radio Station Z889 @ Rowan at BCC will be doing a live remote from the festival.
Please note: Main Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic during the course of the event, from Route 70 to Chapel Avenue. Parts of Union Street and Bank Street will also be closed. For more information, visit www.MedfordPolice.org the week prior to the festival.
A listing of directions and Medford Village parking areas will be found at www.medfordtownship.com/events. Handicapped parking will be available.
The annual Dickens Festival wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful support of the community. Rotarians raise money for the festival through fundraisers, including an annual coin toss collection. Also, tax-deductible donations to keep the tradition going may be made through a GoFundMe site for Rotary Dickens Festival at https://www.gofundme.com/7ahcb.