Travel in space and time to nineteenth century Jolly Old England! From November 1 through January 1 every year, Cambridge, Ohio, transforms into a charming Victorian village that Charles Dickens would find familiar. The architecture of the historic city is an appropriate backdrop for this unique—and mostly free—public art exhibition.
Unique it is! In shop windows and at lampposts and benches along Wheeling Avenue (between Sixth and Eleventh streets), you’ll find scenes and characters from long ago and far away—but perfectly appropriate in this setting and season. Featuring more than 170 lifelike and life-size characters arranged in 96 scenes bedecked in vintage Victorian costumes, the Dickens Victorian Village display is worthy of becoming a Christmas tradition for your family and friends. The face of each character is painstakingly and lovingly carved and hand-painted by members of the Dickens Victorian Village Creative Team. You’ll be able to pick out Dickens characters such as Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Father Christmas. Action scenes such as Christmas carolers, a bucket brigade, lamplighters, the town crier, and schoolchildren are frozen in time for your inspection and enjoyment. It is magical and merry, and each scene is truly a work of art.
did you know?
It took author Charles Dickens just six weeks to write A Christmas Carol? The book was published in 1843 and made caroling a popular holiday activity.
History comes to life as volunteers are eager to greet visitors and share stories and photos of how the Dickens display was created. Narrated trolly rides are also available (for a nominal fee) to tour downtown and historic areas throughout Cambridge on selected Saturdays. That’s a great option for those with mobility challenges. In addition, select museums are open for extended hours. National Museum of Cambridge Glass and the Guernsey County History Museum are open on weekends during the season and docents are dressed in Victorian costumes.
Other highlights of the two-month-long event include horse drawn carriage rides on Friday and Saturday evenings, a Christmas Candlelight Walk and Victorian high teas at numerous venues throughout Cambridge. Queen Victoria herself makes an appearance!
There are several other events you should plan to experience. The first is the opening ceremony for Dickens Victorian Village held the first Saturday after November 1. The opening ceremony is a magical community-wide gathering that kick-offs the winter holiday season. Downtown Cambridge buzzes with activities, music and people.
But that’s not all. Every evening during Dickens Victorian Village, the historic Guernsey County Courthouse takes the spotlight. The Courthouse lends its magnificent 1881 design to an intricately-choreographed 21st century holiday light display consisting of 66,000+ pulsating lights synchronized to holiday music. This amazing light spectacular is presented nightly starting at 5:30 through 9 p.m. and extended to 11 p.m. on holidays.
Learn more about Dickens Victorian Village.