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Dickens of a Christmas delights record crowds

Dickens of a Christmas delights record crowds

The Dickens of a Christmas Festival in downtown Franklin Saturday drew a record crowd to enjoy unusually warm temperatures on Main Street with the first rays of sunlight at the festival in about two years of the festival.

Music City Strings played tunes in period costumes, while Scrooge ran through the streets with ghosts of Christmas past, present and future from the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Crowds enjoyed holiday music, food, craft vendors, snow on the old courthouse steps and other holiday sights.

The 31st Dickens of a Christmas drew a record-breaking crowd, according to Rene Evans, Street Festival Manager with The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County.

“The unofficial early estimates could reflect a record-breaking crowd of about 90,000,” Evans said.

The number represents a spike in last year’s attendance, which drew an estimated 50,000 and 60,000 Dickens-goers.

“I had several downtown merchants tell me that they have never seen that many people at any downtown festival,” Evans said. “It could be the highest attended event downtown, ever. We are completely blown away.”

Evans said many factors converged.

“I think the crowd was a convergence of a whole bunch of stars. We have tweaked our publicity efforts. We have amazing media partners. The weather was great. Who doesn’t want to come to downtown Franklin and a sunny day in December.

“Nashville is red-hot right now from a national standpoint, and Franklin is getting written up as a great place for everything in ‘Best of’ lists. We obviously are the beneficiaries of Franklin’s rising national prominence.”

Evans also added new additions to the festival turned out to be crowd pleasers this year such as the beard contest, new vendors and vintage artisan demonstrators like blacksmiths and weavers on Third Avenue.

“Plus, the snow on the old courthouse steps was also a draw,” she said.

Photo by Photo by Charles Pulliam – Dickens of a Christmas

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