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Roanoke’s annual Dickens of a Christmas celebration

A crowd of people are gathered in front of the downtown Roanoke Christmas tree after the lighting.

roanoke.com

A crowd of people are gathered in front of the downtown Roanoke Christmas tree after the lighting.

Ava Wagner, Reporter

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Every year, downtown Roanoke celebrates the holidays with the Dickens of a Christmas festival. It began as a Christmas celebration based off of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. For the 35th annual time, the festival took place on the first three Fridays of December. Dickens of a Christmas includes roasted chestnuts, carriage rides, street performers, and other family favorites.

The first night was a Christmas tree lighting where families were encouraged to come downtown to see the tree light up with strands of colored Christmas lights. The lighting took place at 6:15 at the end of Market Street. The tree was adorned with large ornaments, picture frames, and other Christmas themed decorations.

“I go to Dickens of a Christmas most years on the first day so that I can see the lighting of the Christmas tree because it reminds me of the excitement for the holidays,” said Keegan Manning (10).

The second night consisted of a winter carnival complete with a roller coaster, ferris wheel, and games. In order to go on the rides, a five dollar ticket was required to be purchased. The carnival games such as mini golf, bean bag toss, and others were all free.

“The best part of the carnival night was the ferris wheel because it was really cool to see the lights of the city from the top of it,” said Nathanael Valentine (12).

The third night featured a pet costume contest. To participate in the contest, pets had to be registered 45 minutes before it began. This was advertised as a family-friendly event where people of Roanoke were encouraged to come downtown and either enter your pets in the contest or just watch.

“Dickens of a Christmas is fun to go to with friends and just walk around,” said Erin Conner (10).

The annual Dickens of a Christmas festival is open for all kinds of people. The family-friendly event took place for the 35th year as of December of 2017.

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