Photo Essay: The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco CA

by Irvin on December 6, 2012 · 11 comments

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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

“If I can remember one thing about Charles Dickens from my sophomore year of high school, it’s this: there is nothing ironic in his stories. The good people are good and the bad people are bad. What you see is what you get.” explained my friend Peter as the man in dressed as a School Headmaster from the Victorian era walked past us. I had called up Peter to see if he wanted to join me to attend the Great Dickens Christmas Fair hosted here in San Francisco, because AJ was otherwise preoccupied this past weekend. Exactly as it sounds, the fair itself is a Victorian England version of the Renaissance Fair, except instead of jousting, there is proper British fencing, instead of fried turkey legs, there are meat pies, instead of knights there are chimney sweepers and instead of mead there was ale…lots and lots of ale. Of course, there was also an assortment of Dickens characters including the ghost of Christmas past, present and future, Mr. Scrooge, Tiny Tim and Charles Dickens himself. And yes there were probably more hoop skirts, corsets and top hats than I have ever seen in one place at one time in my life.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love

Special thanks to the Great Dickens Christmas Fair for providing me tickets to visit the fair this year. The fair is going on every weekend until Christmas at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

The Suzzzz December 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

That looks like a blast. I’m loving some of the beards that those gentlemen are rocking, I also love the photo of the baby in the pram.

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Irvin December 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

The baby in the pram was adorable, but also slightly scary because I wanted to be “Hey that’s not very safe!”

But I’m sure they were keep a really good eye on her. She was so cute!

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amy December 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

This may be the year I finally break down and take K. Did you see many kids there?

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Irvin December 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I did! You should go. I had a great time and there were definitely kids running around (though not as many as I had thought there would be).

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Rita December 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm

It’s real! It’s real! It’s just like I imagined–except more so.

Except the fake snow. I had imagined lots and lots of fake snow. And once I met someone who told me she always plays Little Bo Peep there (is that what she said?), with sheep, so then I added livestock to my mental picture. Were there livestock?

Also, what about the orphans? Where there orphans??

And what about illusionists!
(ok, just kidding about the last one)

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Irvin December 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm

There was SOME fake snow but not a lot. Also I did not see any livestock. It would be hard to have livestock there I think. I imagine that the crowds would frighten the animals.

But there were DEFINITELY kids running around dressed like orphans. I didn’t have a chance to photograph any though, as they were fairly fast running around.

And we missed the magic show. The illusionists came on after the Christmas carolers on the stage but we left. Perhaps next year!

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Rita December 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I was just kidding about the illusionists–though it’s good to know there actually are some. Conjurers–goes with the parlor tricks and seances.

I was just saying . . . how awesome would it be if DAVID COPPERFIELD came one year and did a seance, or some card tricks. That would be a lot of bang for your Dickensian buck.

I’m glad to hear you talking about “next year.” So when I get to go, you’ll still come with me. :)

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Irvin December 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

There might have been a David Copperfield there. There were many Dickens characters floating around, as well as other Victorian peers. The school headmaster from Oliver Twist was there.

I believe the guy reading a book with the blue bow tie is Rudyard Kipling reading at the Adventurers Club.

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Minerva Jelly December 6, 2012 at 9:46 pm

There is a young David Copperfield there. There are actually characters from multiple Dickens books. And yes, that is Mr. Kipling at the Adventurers Club.

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Belinda @zomppa December 7, 2012 at 3:23 am

Oh, Dickens. Folks don’t seem they will ever tire of dressing for him. I wonder if 100 years from now, we will still be Dickening it up…I mean, what from our generation? Harry Potter? Some Snooki book?

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todi December 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

Irvin!

Blogging about my hometown of “Brigadoon” — like magic, theater magic, we spring to life once a year. Yes, there is David Copperfield and his entire book of characters. We have children galore (my dressing room is across from the childrens’ dressing room and yikes there are heaps of them); there is a parade and they sing and frolic as Father Christmas if pulled (by some strapping real fathers) in a sleigh. As for our wonderful fake snow… since it is movie snow and organic based, it dissolves when it is too rainy and the crowds come in with wet footwear.

I am now especially bummed that you missed my show THE BALLET RUSSE. I perform late in the day because of its adult themes at Mad Sal’s then at the V&A Music Hall. By the way, the magician is wonderful Trey Cromwell, as are the jugglers the Kondor Brothers.

Call me next year, we’ll have an Absinthe and a waltz.

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