UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 26, 2023

The Dickens’ Festival returns to St. George for the holidays

Decorations at the Dickens’ Christmas Festival in St. George. Carlie Gillis | Sun News Daily

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Get a glimpse of Christmas past at the Dickens’ Christmas Festival with old english vendors, activities and performances in St. George.

When entering this Christmas festival, you are immediately reminded of the smell and feel of Christmas time. There are a maze of Christmas vendors with amazing decor and goodies on every aisle, including popcorn, roasted nuts, candy apples, cookies and assorted fudge.

The Dickens’ Festival was created 25 years ago and is not only located in Southern Utah but also in Salt Lake City. This is a family-friendly event and great for buying goodies for your loved ones. Many St. George families have the Dickens’ festival as part of their own family tradition every year. The Dixie Convention Center is filled with Christmas spirit right at the front door with lit-up palm trees and Dickens themed decorations. This truly is a great event to attend to get into the holiday spirit.

Shopping

If you are in need of a great holiday gift, the Dickens’ Festival has homemade and heartfelt gifts. Many company owners have a personalized style of gifts they make on their own. Every vendor I experienced had something unique they created and had meaning to them and their buyers. Any gift you walk away with at the Dickens’ Festival will be a great sincere Christmas gift.

Lindy Anderson, owner of Lilac Grove Events and Decor, makes wooden products. Anything from wood ornaments to wooden frames and Christmas objects. The peppermint twist life size wooden decoration is what stood out to me most in her Christmas wonderland tent.

“I first made this peppermint twist to win a family gift contest during COVID with my family,” Anderson said. “I then saw that I could potentially make these as gifts and products to sell after winning my families gift exchange.”

Anderson’s peppermint twist decorations are made by her and wrapped as if you were about to unwrap a peppermint candy with bows on each side, but in a life sized way. Lilac Grove Events and Decor also sell Christmas ornaments and framed Christmas quotes at the Dickens’ Festival.

“With this being my first year and opening day here at the Dickens’ Festival, I am excited to see how the rest of the week will go and hoping to see more and more people come to my booth each day,” Anderson said.

Food

You can’t help but smell the Christmas goodies and sample every one. The fudge and different flavor honey butters were the trend of the season at the Dickens’ Festival. There were multiple vendors that sold these treats, including “All Fudged Up.” Brandon Kent is the owner and has been coming to the Dickens’ festival since 2000.

“I have been here since the beginning of time,” Kent said. “Seeing all the families and my own family company succeed during the holiday season is a wonderful sight to see.”

He has been here since the start of the Dickens’ Festival selling his famous assorted fudges. There are flavors such as grasshopper, salted caramel and peanut butter.

“My family is known for selling our fudge all over the United States in the different areas we all live in,” Kent said. “The Dickens’ festival is my favorite place to sell every year and is never a let down during Christmas time.”

As I chose my own fudge to buy, Kent pulled me over to view something under his watch. Under it was the Dickens’ Festival symbol tattooed on his wrist. Kent has been so dedicated to the Dickens’ Festival over the years it seemed just right to have it engraved on his wrist.

Many vendors are dedicated to the Dickens’ Festival every year and many locals look forward to seeing their Christmas booths.

Entertainment

There is live music and performances held at this festival. The story of Scrooge is told live and performed by actors that dress up and play as if you were living back in Christmas past.

The company owners even dress up as 1800s characters would during the Christmas time to make the Dickens’ Festival come to life. Many women wear long dresses and stockings while the men wear waist coats and hats at the event. This made for a great holiday setting in the 1800s.

Live music is sang by the locals. They sing Christmas classics that fill the event center while you browse. There is seating along all sides of the stage to catch a break to listen or watch these performances live.

The old memories of Charles Dickens’ stories come back to life and are alive at this one of a kind Christmas event. You will feel as if you are back in time living with Dickens’ himself. The Dickens’ Festival is held at The Dixie Convention Center Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. Tickets can be purchased here.