A Dickens of a Christmas

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
The Cratchetts from 'A Christmas Carol' and other Dickens characters welcome visitors to the vendor displays at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village's Dickens Christmas Saturday. Bob Cratchett at right, played by Steve Farr; Mrs. Cratchett (Jodi Delaney); one of the Cratchett kids (Bailey Schuster); and Nancy from 'Oliver Twist' (Jessica Einwalter). Santa Claus was also in attendance for the first of what will become an annual event, said Misty Mackay. Although the Fort Museum mostly portrays the frontier era, not Dickens' Victorian era, the museum's history spans 100 years, meaning it sort of fits.

Shop, play and feast in the Frontier Village Opera House this holiday season. Come and join the many “Shoppe Keepers” where attendees will discover countless treasures as the marketplace captures the merriment of Christmas during the time of Charles Dickens.

“A Dickens of a Christmas at The Fort” will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village, located at 1 Museum Road in Fort Dodge between Iowa Central Community College and the Friendship Haven Campus.

Admission to “A Dickens of a Christmas at The Fort” is free and parking is adjacent to the Opera House and the Frontier Village Trading Post Building.

“Whether you are searching for the perfect holiday present for friends and loved ones, or a Christmas treat or two for yourself, this is the perfect time to get into the holiday spirit,” said Laura Crowl, executive director at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village.

Guests will have an opportunity to shop more than 40 different vendors at “A Dickens of a Christmas at the Fort.” There will be decor, furniture items, sports items, sweet treats, unique home and yard decor, jewelry, beauty products, handcrafted candles, handcrafted textiles, handcrafted letters/cards/signs, original artwork, and much more for guests to enjoy and buy.

-Messenger file photo by Joe Sutter
Brayden Schuster, playing Oliver Twist for the Dickens Christmas, thinks over his next move while playing checkers with his grandpa, Joe Kangley. Schuster said he was originally going to be Tiny Tim, but he got switched.

There will also be food and beverages available for purchase throughout the event catered by TC Mae’s.

At 10 a.m., Santa will be making his big arrival to the Fort by horse and carriage. Kids will be able to tell Santa their wishes for Christmas.

“Be sure to come early so you do not miss Santa’s big arrival.” Crowl said.

After Santa arrives, there will also be carriage rides available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The carriage ride will be through the woods behind Friendship Haven.

“A Dickens of a Christmas at the Fort” is a bustling theatrical environment, combining the magic of the traditional holiday season with the characters from Charles Dickens. Come and mingle with Dickens characters in the streets of the Frontier Village and in the Frontier Opera House.

-Messenger file photo by Joe Sutter
Sheena Minnehan, of Ten Oak Lane in Sheridan, who got into costume for the occasion, talks about wood products at her booth with Bruce Hill.

“You will meet a multitude of characters that will come to life from the Dickens novels, such as, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘Oliver Twist,” Crowl said.

Some of the characters from the Charles Dickens novels are Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchitt and his family, Tiny Tim, Oliver Twist, Fagin, Nancy, and the Artful Dodger.

“This is our second year holding ‘A Dickens of a Christmas at the Fort!’ at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village,” Crowl said. “In order to bring more awareness about what the museum offers and to draw people to the museum, we have decided to hold numerous events throughout the year that are entertaining and family oriented.”

Other events will include Saucy Jack performing on Dec. 1, a teen dance on Dec 28, a New Year’s Eve Dance on Dec. 31, and a winter dance on Jan. 12th with a ’50s and ’60s band to be announced.

Other events scheduled for 2019 are escape rooms, psychic readings, dances, Night at the Museum, a car show, Frontier Days, and many weddings and class reunions.

For more information, or if you would like to volunteer to help decorate the Fort Museum and Frontier Village for this event, call The Fort Museum at 515-573-4231. Our events are also listed on our Facebook pages and also our website www.fortmuseumfv.com.