Today is the day I put away my Christmas decorations. Which means I have one last chance where I can legitimately share photos of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair without it being completely irrelevant. Yup.
I'll admit, the husband and I were a little skeptical at first. We've been to our share of renaissance faires (both as participants and spectators), and were a little over the historical cosplay scene. Not to mention, neither of us are "Christmas-y" people, and Dickens was never either of ours' favorite author. Three strikes, yes?
Well, one thing trumps that all, and that's family. My brother and his lovely girlfriend have been actively involved in the Dickens Fair for years now, and have all but begged us to come see what its all about.
Refusing to disappoint my one and only sibling for a third year in a row, Lefty and I trekked out to the ass-end of San Francisco in the pouring rain to check out this bastion of Victorian holiday cheer.
We're getting costumes next year. Because this was too much fun not to be an active part of.
It's colorful without being campy, cheery without being obnoxious. Steampunk abounds, and spectators come in creative costumes ranging from the loosely inspired to the historically accurate. The participants are having a genuinely good time, which puts the spectators in a good mood. It was just...fun.
Lefty and I spent most of our time down at the "docks" with the riff-raff, quaffing cider, munching hot roasted almonds, and watching some pretty impressive live performances at Mad Sal's.
We also spent a lot of time hanging out with my brother and the guild he's part of, the Legion Fantastique. They portray characters from the works of Jules Verne, and their booth is an adventurer's hall full of treasures and curios. They had shows every hour or so blending "science, exploration, and imagination," including a "live giant squid feeding." You can see Archie the giant squid peeking at the audience in the photo above.
My brother Xander plays Michael Strogoff. His Russian accent is pretty convincing. I'm glad I finally got a chance to see him in his element. Really. How could I say no to this face?
You can see the rest of the photos below.
And now, I decree Christmas is officially OVER. Away with the stockings and ornaments until next season!