The Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center will once again present “A Dickens Christmas” as part of Bradford’s annual Old Fashioned Christmas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 14.
The one-day event is part of the museum’s community engagement programming and draws hundreds of visitors from around the region.
The centerpiece of the event will be the return of the American Caroling Company. The professional a capella quartet will be dressed in Victorian costume and will perform throughout the day. Joining the group this year will be a traditional Father Christmas, known in Britain as Santa Claus. The Victorian Father Christmas will roam Marilyn Horne Hall to greet visitors and be available for photographs.
This year’s artisan market will feature an assortment of new and returning artists to the event. Among them are Lycoming native Penny French and her famed Back Mountain Bears. French has been creating handmade teddy bears for many years. Her creations have now become collector’s items. Another new addition to the market is polymer clay artist Jane Kennelly, who creates everything from wine charms to Christmas ornaments at her studio in Hamburg, N. Y.
Other market vendors will include The Crafty Panther, a Bradford-based paper artist whose cards are sold in the Horne Museum shop, award-winning artist Denise Drummond, Allegheny Fiber Arts, JRO Crafts, Sisterly Soap, and Shandra Wilson and her handmade pysanky. Wilson will also be demonstrating how the lavish Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated during the event.
Dickens Christmas is a family-friendly event designed to encourage visitors to Marilyn Horne Hall while complimenting the other activities taking place during Old Fashioned Christmas. Horne Hall will be lavishly decorated with snow-covered Christmas trees and museum will be offering complimentary gingerbread men and mulled cider to visitors throughout the day.
Museum Manager Matthew Hileman said, “Dickens Christmas has become our most popular event of the year. When I started the Christmas market almost three years ago, I did it to raise awareness of the museum. Now it’s become an important part of the holiday season and I’m frequently approached by people asking me if we’ll be doing the event again.”
The costumed carolers will perform intermittently throughout the day and will roam the event. Visitors are encouraged to take pictures with the performers. There is no admission fee for the event and all are encouraged to visit. This event has been generously sponsored in part by a gift from the Philo and Sarah Blaisdell Foundation.