Queen Victoria, Ebenezer Scrooge and the rest of the cast of Dickens Christmas will return to the streets of Skaneateles with the World's Smallest Christmas Parade along Fennell, Jordan and Genesee streets at noon Friday, Nov. 24.
The annual holiday festival, now in its 24th year, transforms the lakeside village into 1842 England. The story sees the queen commission Charles Dickens to write a Christmas story, and his encounters with the Fezziwigs, the Cratchits, Tiny Tim and more inspire what would become "A Christmas Carol." The story unfolds each week, and passersby can interact with the performers.
"The real magic of our little Christmas party is the human connection we make when we look each other in the eye and wish each other well," producing director Jim Greene said in a news release. "Dickens offers us the opportunity to revel in the greater gift of simply caring for one another. This has become a Christmas tradition for all of us in the Dickens Christmas family."
Dickens Christmas continues until 4 p.m. Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23. It concludes with a limited show from noon to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.
Highlights of this year's festival include:
• Christmas carol singalongs at 2 p.m. every day at the Clift Park gazebo
• Scenes from "A Christmas Carol" at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. every day at the gazebo
• Horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides departing from the Sherwood Inn (wagon rides $2, carriage rides a $20 donation)
• Comedy juggling shows by Mervyn Brimble Gigglewick at 1 and 3 p.m. Nov. 24, 25 and 26 and Dec. 16 and 17 at Skaneateles Library
• A snowman building contest Dec. 17 in Clift Park, judged by Queen Victoria
Produced by Scarlett Rat Entertainment, the event draws more than 20,000 visitors a year to the village of Skaneateles, according to the release. It has more than 70 cast members and the support of nearly 150 local businesses.
Admission to the event is free, as are roasted chestnuts, Christmas pudding, eggnog (Saturdays only) and other holiday refreshments at select locations.
For more information, visit skaneateles.com or call (315) 685-0552.