For those who want to whisper secrets to the real Santa Claus, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair is for you.
Let’s call it miracles on Geneva Avenue, because children know one when they see one. There are large crowds who meet the legend with a real beard and a deep laugh.
Santa Claus, played by veteran 80-year-old actor Will Wood, isn’t a dull-eyed department store that’s overfed and stuffed into a polyester suit.
Wood is a highlight of the fair, which takes place at Cow Palace every year until Christmas in the 20th year.
It’s a Bay Area tradition for many families who love to stroll through Victorian London at dusk with a stretch of snow on the ground and 1,000+ lights created for a magical, unforgettable landscape.
Wood calls it a Christmas card that comes to life.
“You see the whole family in costume,” he said. “People come with the spirit of true faith.”
Thousands of children have sat on Wood’s lap over the years, and their affectionate inquiries range from world peace to helping a sick grandmother. Every now and then there is a surprise, like the 5-year-old who asked about a Lamborghini.
Santa Claus is one of more than 800 characters walking around. Queen Victoria, accompanied by Prince Albert, also mingles with the visitors.
She loves it very much. After all, this is London without bad weather or Brexit.
“I have no idea what you are talking about,” said the Queen when asked about the controversy of the 21st century. “I leave all politics to my ministers.”
It’s a full British experience on the 3.5 acre site. Visitors can see a show, try delicious treats like banger and mash, learn to fence, or play boot the cat. At Mr. Fezziwig’s dance party, you can practice waltzes, jigs and polkas with patient actors who know the steps.
When the afternoon turns into evening, there’s the popular adult-only show, the Saucy French Postcard Tableaux Revue.
Costumes, says fair manager Kevin Patterson, are “admired but not needed”.
“It’s both an experience and a visual feast,” says Patterson. “We want people to feel like they are in the story. We work very hard to ensure that people get carried away with the feeling and the aesthetic. “
Patterson, whose parents Ron and Phyllis started Mass, remembers the awe he felt as a child when he got lost wherever it is Christmas Eve.
There is so much to see – from sailors with eye patches to chimney sweeps with rotting teeth – trade show attendees forget their phones.
Scrooge never used one. Why should they do this?
WHEN YOU GO
The Great Dickens Christmas Market & Victorian Holiday Party
Where: Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City
When: Saturday to Sunday (plus Friday, November 29th) to December 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tickets: $ 10 to $ 32; $ 12 parking space
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