Saturday, 9 December 2017

Dickens Christmas Festival 2017

We are extremely lucky to live in part of the country where we once housed Charles Dickens both in his early years and his last years; because of this we have several events throughout the year in Rochester to enjoy together.

One of my favourites is the Dickensian Christmas which was a staple event of my childhood and one that I like to get the boys involved with too! We had also planned the event with Hannah's visit to us so was looking forward to sharing all the things we enjoy with her.

The boys Mum also volunteers at these events so it suits us both to be involved; myself as a eager onlooker and herself as a breastfeeding support worker. So once we had collected the boys we were off to check our this years festivities.

We started off going through the Christmas market and fairground and as expected from last weekend it was much busier!  so much so that we didn't even have time to look at the different stalls as there were several rows of people lining up to buy or take a look. To be brutally honest it was a nightmare for space to even move between the crowds walking around you; something I know was difficult for Hannah trying to plot a way through and push me along in my wheelchair. 

This, for example, was the walk way and courtyard coming out of the castle grounds. As you can see the crowds are large even below, let alone around the Christmas fair!

With the idea that the crowds were large and knowing that the parade along the high street was starting we made sure we had the best spot to see all of the characters taking part at the end of the High Street! 

A real mix of Victorian characters in their winter dress.

We even came across some of Dickens characters!

Here is a couple dressed as Nancy and Bill Sykes. You can't see it here but Bill had his own dog Bullseye!

We even saw Fagin!

We then decided to head up and down the high street and just enjoy the merriment of the event and being around others enjoying it too!

Up and down the High Street there were little pockets of snow machines kicking out some snow. The boys loved dancing around and playing in this. But, it wasn't just children having fun, many older children and adults were all taking a moment to stand under it, take a photo and let a little bit of childhood fun in to their lives.

One aspect that I love is the willingness of the people who dress up to embrace the festivities in full character and interact with the children!

Out of all the photo's that we took this is one of my favourites. We love the ghosts of Christmas present and future from Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". The costumes are incredible and with that they are always really interactive. More so, I love the fact that Hannah was able to get in the photo too; the boys and I loved having her with us and it just showed the future of our blended family in the next coming year.

One aspect we love to see is the Steampunk fans out, feeling comfortable and enjoying the festivities.

We loved the above couple; on top of the mans hat is a green dragon and when he presses a button the dragon puffs smoke!

The boys even had a go trying on the hats!

One last feature that I wanted to share was the musicians littered around the High Street. We had a mix of guitar players, brass band, local choirs and some classic folk players.

As always, we loved this day out! It is fantastic to be together as a community and as a family. Everyone who participates volunteers and puts full effort to make the event a success. The crowds might be busy and you may need to plan your journey but it is worth every second to go along.
It is both a chance to become enchanted by a feast of Victorian delights and festivities and of history where a community brought together in the joy of Christmas for all to enjoy!  Rochester becomes a winter wonderland with the lamps lit, parades, reindeer, an open air carol concert and street performers and really isn't something to miss out on!

For us, we are just looking forward to next year and sharing it with Hannah's children.

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