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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party returns to the Cow Palace

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party returns to the Cow Palace with authentic London street scenes, seven stages of period music, drama and dancing, and sumptuous feasting and shopping

Opens Saturday, November 23 and continues Saturdays & Sundays
(and the Friday after Thanksgiving) through December 22, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Now in its 35th year, the one-of-a-kind Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party kicks off on November 23 and continues five weekends from 10am to 7pm, including the Friday after Thanksgiving, through Sunday, December 22, 2013 at San Francisco’s historic Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave.

A beloved Bay Area tradition and one of the most elaborate, inventive and authentically-Victorian Christmas events anywhere in the world, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party showcases over three acres of exhibition halls transformed into a brilliant facsimile of Victorian London circa 1865. It was the peak of the British Empire, and Charles Dickens was dazzling the world with writing unequaled since the Bard put quill to vellum. An ever-changing recreated slice of Charles Dickens’ London, warmly lit and lovingly decorated, with winding lanes, shops, pubs, tearooms, lecture halls, a grand Music Hall and the London dockside brought to life by more than 750 authentically-dressed actors.

“The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is the only event of its kind in the world, a deeply immersive and historically authentic environmental theatre,” said Kevin Patterson who, along with his wife and co-producer Leslie Patterson, has been at the helm of this event for the past 14 years. “Now in its 35th Season, the Dickens Fair is a renowned West Coast family tradition that provides a rich and lively experience and crosses generational lines. There is something for every age group. It’s a time machine – dare to step inside!”

Fairgoers of all ages will meet the characters of Charles Dickens’ London who combine their talents to create a fully immersive Victorian holiday experience. From Queen Victoria herself all the way down to Tiny Tim, the Dickens Fair brings to life a mixture of fictional and historic characters. Mingle with roving chimney sweeps, musicians, carolers, London bobbies, magicians, and saucy sailors. Gala parades, including the daily Toy Parade and the Father Christmas Parade, wind through the crowds, adding to the festivity.

The Dickens Christmas Fair also offers a variety of scrumptious treats and delicious dishes to tempt all palates. When hunger strikes, fairgoers may refresh themselves with traditional holiday goodies, including a feast of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, goose or quail, fish & chips, duck a l’orange, hot meat pies, plum pudding, mulled cider and scones, hot roasted chestnuts, or Ambrosia truffles.

The Yuletide season is also a time for youngsters to delight in special activities, games and gifts—and at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, holiday entertainment opportunities abound for both the young and the young at heart. For the little ones, there are visits with Father Christmas, a hand-powered Adventure carousel, Punch & Judy puppet shows, a parade with Mother Goose, and teatime with Alice of Wonderland, as well as the chance to meet characters from A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby—even to encounter the great Charles Dickens himself!

Ticketing and Other Pertinent Information: General Admission tickets (age 13 and up) are available at the Box Office for $25 for the first 3 weekends and $30 for the final 2 weekends; at $12 for Children ages 5-12; and wee ones under 5 are free. Tickets are fully transferable.


Opens Saturday, November 23 and runs Saturdays and Sundays
(including the Friday after Thanksgiving) through December 22
10:00 am – 7 pm


The Cow Palace, San Francisco, 2600 Geneva Avenue, San Francisco


General Admission: $25.00/$30 at the door (final 2 weekends)
Children ages 5-12: $12.00 at the door
Online sales (beginning Sept. 20): $8 – $30
Children under 5: Free
Fair Season Pass: $90.00 adult
Group Rates available online for groups of 20-29
For groups of 30 or more, contact, 415-668-0525


Military 1st & 2nd Weekends Free Admission:
Active Military personnel will receive FREE Admission on First and Second Weekends!
(November 23, 24, 29, 30 and December 1 only; photo I.D. required)

The Scrooge Special (twilight ticket offer)
Adult Twilight Tickets, available after 4pm: $13.00
Child Twilight Tickets, available after 4pm: $8.00
A great excuse to visit the Dickens Fair for a second time and focus on shopping or take in a wonderful dinner and a lively show!

“Kids Free Sunday” Dec. 1.
Children (5-12years old) will receive FREE admission on “Kids Free Sunday” (December 1 only. Children under 5 are always free!)
Your children will love the new Fairy Crafts, Fairytale Play Area and all the wonderful delights!

Toys for Tots Discount, Good for All Weekends:

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Toys for Tots donations container, and receive $3.00 off a full-priced Adult ticket. Red Barn Productions and The Dickens Christmas Fair are proud sponsors of Toys for Tots, which helps needy children throughout the U.S. experience the joy of Christmas.

CVS Pharmacies $3.00 off for up to four adults: CVS will offer $3.00 discount coupons good for any day of the event. To be redeemed at the box office.

Parking available for $10 (charged by the Cow Palace).

FOR MORE INFORMATION, call (800) 510-1558 x 114 or visit