Dickens Faire

Moments from the 2019 Dickens Faire

Elk Grove’s salute to the spirit of Charles Dickens’s classic tale, “A Christmas Carol” will return on Saturday, Nov. 27 when the 34th annual Old Town Elk Grove Dickens Faire takes place.

This festival is the traditional kickoff for the holiday shopping season in Elk Grove and it will be held on the Old Town stretch of Elk Grove Boulevard from 2nd Avenue to School Street. Festivities last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. when there will be crafts vendors, strolling carolers, bands such as students from Elk Grove’s School of Rock, and a children’s crafting area at the Old Town Plaza.

Visitors are invited to stay at the boulevard after the festival ends at 5 p.m., which is when the lighting ceremony will be held for Old Town’s Christmas tree at the corner of Elk Grove Boulevard and Walnut Avenue.

The Dickens Faire is returning after last year’s festival was canceled, due to public health concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and large crowd gatherings. The Old Town Elk Grove Foundation is producing this year’s festival, which encourages visitors to start their holiday shopping in Old Town.

“We are excited to bring back the beloved Old Town Elk Grove Dickens Faire this year,” the foundation’s board president, Angi Perry said. “This Saturday after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to work on our Christmas shopping with over 100 vendors and all of the wonderful shops in Old Town.”

A breakfast with Santa will first be held at 9 a.m. in the Brickhouse Restaurant and Lounge. Diners are required to order tickets at www.DickensStreetFaire.com.

As per tradition, the festival officially begins at 11 a.m. with the Cosumnes Fire Department’s courageous rescue of Santa from the rooftop of the Elk Grove Lock & Safe shop. Children are encouraged to remind firefighters they actually have a ladder truck they can easily use to help Jolly St. Nick. The crew traditionally wises up after they consider bad ideas such as yelling at Santa to jump into their arms or telling to him leap into a tiny kiddie pool.

Cosumnes Fire Engineer-Paramedic Joe Guardino has organized the Santa Rescue for the past 25 years.

“My favorite memory is just the joy on the kids’ faces when they get to see Santa and help us get him down,” he said. “They’re so relieved and proud to get him down – it’s just moments of pure joy and we all know that the world could use more of that now.”

After the rescue, children are invited to take photos with Santa at the Old Town Plaza at noon. Festivalgoers are welcome to spend the cozy afternoon listening to music and shopping at local stores until tree-lighting ceremony begins at 5 p.m.

“For 34 years, we have kicked off the holiday season with this festive event, and this year we will be celebrating the road to recovery,” Perry said. “We look forward to the joy and laughter that we all so sorely need.”