Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Victorian Festival of Christmas Returns
Friday 30th November – Sunday 2nd December 2012
2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is proud to be a part of the celebrations with the return of the ‘Victorian Festival of Christmas’.
This family favourite event in the unique surroundings of a dockyard steeped in history, Charles Dickens’ father, John Dickens, helped manage the Naval Pay Office which you can still see at the end of College Road in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, is the perfect way to start the festive season and what’s more, by buying early, visitors can get a saving of over 15% on ticket prices!
The three day event takes place on Friday 30th November to Sunday 2nd December 2012, from 10am – 6pm. Visitors will be magically transported into a Dickensian-style bygone era of real snowy white streets for the rich and poor, with seasonal carols, the ever raucous Fagin’s Tavern, and unique Christmas gift market.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is especially delighted to be introducing a magical new scene with a Victorian Father Christmas, dressed in green, who will be greeting families alongside his trusty reindeer as they prepare for their busiest night of the year.
Organisers are pleased to be welcoming back Hampshire Fare traders where food lovers can sample the delights of quality, local produce including jams and chutneys, honey, biltong, fudge and freshly baked bread, cakes and pastries. It’s also a chance to stock up on treats for festive feasts or give in to the aromas of steaming mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.
The grand buildings of the historic site and Georgian storehouses will be transformed into a glorious bazaar of arts, crafts, food, drink and gifts with over 140 stalls - ensuring the Festival of Christmas remains the largest Christmas market on the South Coast! The Boutique Market will also be bringing back their very special indoor market hall with handmade items, artist’s work, upcycled fashion, vintage desirables, retro objects and local businesses who supply something just that little bit different that you won''t find on the High Street. Find them in Storehouse 15 with terrific atmosphere amidst a good old fashioned Victorian knees up!
Helping visitors to become immersed in the atmosphere of the Victorian dockyard will be a whole host of colourful characters including chimney sweeps, strumpets, cheeky scamps and Victorian gentry, though caution should be shown with the Penny Farthings whizzing by! Plus, Queen Victoria and Mr Brown will be inspecting the festivities in their traditional horse and carriage.
For a small additional charge there will all the fun of the fair with the beautiful Gallopers Merry-Go-Round and Chair-O-Plane rides and stalls including Hook-a-Duck! Plus, a fantastic array of food and drink to enjoy along the way.
Steam Engines will be on display, along with a miniature ride-a-long railways and there will be even more music this year in Fagin’s Tavern and throughout the site, including the popular Rose & Thistle Pipe Band, traditional Christmas carols and the firing and drumming of the Fort Cumberland Guard.
There will also be some deliciously extraordinary fun including Jeff and Wayne - illuminated angels with neon halos and silly trumpets and Scrooge and Mr Cratchit in their musical carriage wishing you a bah humbug Christmas, plus sketches by the Wavy Navy group
An event ticket includes entry to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, HMS Warrior 1860, HMS Victory, Action Stations and boat trips of Portsmouth Harbour (weather permitting).
A Victorian Festival of Christmas is proud to be supporting the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (RNRMC) charity - helping the naval family from serving and veterans to families alike. Please visit http://www.rnrmc.org.uk for more information
For tickets see www.christmasfestival.co.uk or call 023 9283 9766