MEDFORD-The Medford Sunrise Rotary will once again present the 27th annual Dickens Festival on Saturday, Dec. 3 in downtown Medford. The family friendly event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. and it promises to be a magical time for children and grown-ups alike. For one night every year, Main Street in Medford is transformed into a quaint winter wonderland, featuring holiday festivities galore with an old timey flair. The festival typically attracts more than 10,000 people from within Medford and from many surrounding communities.
Exciting things get underway around 6:15 p.m., when a parade transports Santa, Mrs. Claus and an elf or two to the gazebo in the center of the downtown Village (18 N. Main Street). Grand Marshal Ron Murphy of Murphy’s Market is once again the presenting sponsor of the Dickens Festival. The annual tree-lighting ceremony happens next, as town officials gather to turn the lights on at the town Christmas tree. Santa and his wife will stay at the gazebo all evening long to greet children of all ages.
Visitors are invited to stroll along Main Street in Medford’s historic district, past dimly lit lampposts and shops adorned with holiday decorations and twinkling lights. Carolers and characters dressed in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” garb will make their way up and down the street, entertaining the masses. Various musicians – including the M-Town Jazz Jam, the Moorestown High School Madrigal Singers, Harmonia Voices a Cappella, Special Occasion Barbershop Quartet and Ridgeway Singers - will perform favorite holiday tunes from porches along the way.
There will also be a Live Nativity at Tomlinson Park in front of the library, along with outdoor movies (at Union and Main streets), an ice carver, a moon bounce (with a “Frozen” theme), a town crier (on a penny farthing bicycle), the Give ‘n Take jugglers, Stockton-Brown stilt-walkers and a face painter.
(Don’t be surprised to see Olaf from “Frozen” roaming the streets! And a popular float from Medford’s recent Halloween Parade will also be making an appearance at this year’s festival.)
Plan to do some holiday shopping, as a whole host of crafters and vendors will also be on hand: Karen & the Nut, Flo’s Doll Clothes, Grazing Goat natural soaps, Beaucycled, Jersey Plate Art, Duckie’s Soy Candles, Cheri Beri’s Stained Glass suncatchers, Just Life Essentials, The Farmer’s Daughter, Paws & Obey Dog Training, New England novelties, Kitchen Magic and Blue Ridge Farm roasted almonds.
And, of course, plenty of delicious food and beverages will be available, provided by vendors like Murphy’s Market, Jim’s Jarhead Jerky, Buzzetta’s Foods, Jeremiah’s Cheesesteaks, Matt G Dogz, Richie Lou’s Food Service, Eddie’s Kettle Corn, Johnny Churros, La Bella Pizza, Bacon Broads, Cape May Crab Cake Factory, Broadwalk Specialties, J Dogs, Spanky’s BBQ, Illiano Cucina, Glazed & Confused Mini Donuts Cruiser and House of Fudge.
While you’re in town, check out the information tables for Habitat for Humanity, Crossroads Assembly, WaWa, Kiddie Academy of Marlton and Laurel Oaks Wealth Management Group. And don’t forget to bring your donation to the Toys for Tots truck, which will be stationed at the event.
Please note: Main Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic during the course of the event, from Route 70 to Chapel Avenue. Parts of Union Street and Bank Street will also be closed. For more information, visit www.MedfordPolice.org the week prior to the festival. A listing of directions and Medford Village parking areas can be found at www.medfordtownship.com/events.
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