By CATHERINE ELLERTON
Moapa Valley Progress
The festival-goer eagerly walks through the portal into the past – into a village from Victorian-era England. The shops and characters of that day, as portrayed by novelist Charles Dickens, are all there. Dickens characters from ‘Oliver Twist,’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and ‘David Copperfield’ magically reappear and roam through the city streets once again.
Brittany Dell, the President of the Dickens’ Festival, and her many volunteers, once again, have transformed the St. George Dixie Convention Center into this stylish village. The vendor’s booths are decorated as store fronts and the vendors are dressed in period clothing. Cockney is the language of the day.
There are puzzles and clothing, games and family crests, Christmas decorations, massages and ‘singing bowls’ to sooth the curious. There were Elves on the Shelf and Rhino Copters and books galore.
One of the vendors was the Overton business, News Clippings from the Past. Here were Overton residents David Andersen and Kaylene Canfield were dressed in Victorian attire, peddling their books with historic news clippings from throughout the region. Anderson had even won an important distinction. He had been awarded as the best dressed male costume for the whole festival.
Of course, we must mention the food. In addition to the Food Court, there are booths of jellies and jams, popcorn, cider fixins, and bakery items such as breads from Volker’s Bakery.
The air was filled with music and laughter from the many entertainers that held court on the Scrooge Stage, Queen Victoria’s Stage or wandered the streets. If that wasn’t enough, two plays were running twice daily – “Oliver” and “Scrooge.”
As I pondered where to turn next, I heard a very friendly “Well! Hello there!” Could it be the Chimney Sweep, or the Ghost Progress or maybe even Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens? I whirled around and there was Robin Maughan from Moapa Valley! She had taken a moment from decorating the Christmas Trees for the Festival of Trees at Old Logandale School to come to this magical land to hear her granddaughter Georgie Holt perform with the Red Mountain Elementary School Choir from Ivins. We soon bid farewell as she headed back to her trees and I headed out to find Father Christmas.