The 44th annual Dickens on The Strand, sponsored by the Galveston Historical Foundation kicks off with free admission to Fezziwig’s Beer Hall from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today in the historical downtown district in Galveston.

The annual 19th century Victorian London festival, which is a holiday tradition with great family programming, special holiday performances and more, will continue with ticketed admission from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and will conclude from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $15 for adults and $9 for youths. Discounted tickets for GHF members are $12. Tickets are available at www.dickensonthestrand.org or by calling 409-765-7834. And if you dress up in Victorian garb, you can get in for $8.

Attendees also will get a chance to meet Mark Charles Dickens, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and Jane Dickens Monk, three descendants of Charles Dickens, all of whom will be at numerous events throughout the weekend. Hawksley also will be signing copies of her new book “Dickens and Christmas” today (at Bishop’s Palace) through Sunday (on The Strand).

New events such as A Dickens Soiree at the 1892 Bishop’s Palace (today), Saturday Night Showing of The Muppet Christmas Carol, and a Dickens Costume Contest (Sunday) is sure to keep festivalgoers coming back — year after year.

And for those of you who love the symphony, the Queen herself will be in attendance at the Galveston Symphony’s concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., in Galveston. For tickets, visit www.thegrand.com or call 800-821-1894.

For a complete list of all the events, visit www.dickensonthestrand.org, and for information, call Will Wright, 409-765-3404.

•••

The second annual Grand Victorian Tea Reception also will be from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the historic Lasker Inn, 1019 16th St., in Galveston.

The elegant afternoon tea reception is considered a semi-formal event with Victorian sensibilities (arms and legs covered, please!), so period costumes are encouraged — but not required.

This event is for ages 12 and older. To purchase tickets, visit www.picatic.com and type in the keyword “Dickens.”

‘A Christmas Carol’

& Lyle Lovett

If you prefer to be indoors during the festivities of Dickens on The Strand, then make sure you attend special presentations of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at 8 p.m. today or at 3 p.m. Saturday at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., in Galveston.

Featuring character favorites such as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, his overworked and underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, “A Christmas Carol” is a movie that will keep you and the entire family entertained all while getting you in the holiday spirit!

The Grand also will present “An Evening with Lyle Lovett and His Band” at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The four-time Grammy winner returns with his blend of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a way that only he can perform. Get your tickets, because they’re going fast!

Tickets for both events can be purchased at www.thegrand.com or by calling 800-821-1894.

‘A Christmas Carol’ returns to Dickinson

Don’t feel like coming into Galveston this weekend, but still want to celebrate all things Dickens? Well, you’re in luck!

The Bay Area Harbour Playhouse also will present “A Christmas Carol” at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17 at 3803 state Highway 3 in Dickinson.

The large cast will feature Sam Kee, Mike Fabian, C.T. Gomez, Dallas Taylor, Lance Nutter, Jadean East, Shane Taylor, T.J. Griffey, Annette Forsythe, Mary Hendrgen, Alexey Kofman, Jordan Emmitte, Lucy Manner, Michael Richards, dancers from Richard Tew’s Academy of Irish Dancing and the Classical Dance Arts of League City, taught by Sara Gerke, as well as several others.

Tickets start at $12 with discounts available for students, military, seniors, and groups of 10 or more.

For more information, visit www.harbourtheater.com or call 281-337-7469.

WinterFest holiday event

The Galveston County Fair & Rodeo’s fifth annual WinterFest holiday event will be from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the fairgrounds at Jack Brooks Park, state Highway 6, in Hitchcock.

The jam-packed two-day event is for all ages and will include a tree lighting ceremony, a Christmas movie, hayrides, Santa’s Barnyard, a 5K Jingle Bell Fun Run, Magical Sleigh and Pet Parade, mutton bustin’, Pee Wee Reindeer games, and more.

Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to take nonperishable food items, which will be donated to local charities to help families in need throughout the holiday season.

For a complete itinerary of events, visit galvestoncountyfair.com or call 409- 986-6010.

‘It’s A Wonderful Life’

Rounding out this weekend holiday events will be a special presentation of “It’s A Wonderful Life” — A Live Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry and performed by Galveston College Theater Arts students at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday in the Abe and Annie Seibel Wing on the main campus of Galveston College at 4015 Ave. Q in Galveston.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Angela Wilson: 409-683-5239; angela.wilson@galvnews.com

Angela Wilson is the community news editor for The Daily News.

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